Watson turns in elite performance as Texans roll over Dolphins 42-23

Deshaun Watson was terrific on Thursday. Bob Levey/Getty Images

Deshaun Watson has had mixed results all season. He has dealt with a subpar offensive line, bad play calling and several injuries.

In Thursday night’s game, we saw what he can be at his best.

Watson was 16 of 20, threw for 239 yards, 5 TDs and for the second straight game did not turn the ball over as the Texans had their best offensive game of the season in an 42-23 win over Miami.

As a result, the Texans sit at 5-3 after the halfway point of the season. They lead the AFC South and are looking very much like a playoff team. Their last two games have been their best of the season.

Watson was a game manager last week and led the Texans over Jacksonville. Thursday night, he was the playmaker we saw last season.

Watson eluded the pass rush and made big plays. He hit long passes. He was efficient and effective. And if this Watson shows up the rest of the season? The Texans have a chance to be very good.

He threw darts against his body. He hit deep passes. He made smart decisions. In short, he looked like an elite quarterback.

The running game certainly helped, as Lamar Miller had his best game as a Texan with 133 rushing yards. The offensive line kept Watson clean - he was not sacked once.

Watson made the most of it. He was accurate, poised. When he plays like that, the Texans can beat anyone. He looked healthy for the first time in weeks, and the results showed.

Yes, the Dolphins are garbage. The Texans were supposed to beat them handily. But Watson was beyond excellent and looked like the player we all fell in love with last season.

Is he a franchise quarterback? Absolutely. Can he be elite? Maybe.

Thursday night, he certainly was.


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Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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