WeatherMap

Welcome to the new SportsMap weather update

National Hurricane Center

So I know what you are thinking. "Oh sh**, the weather nerd is back – now what is it." I wouldn't blame you for thinking that, but this time my presence on SportsMap is a bit more benign (for now). Instead, this is the first post in what will become a regular bit on SportsMap where I hope to give you a little weather information every couple of days while you stop by to get your daily fix of Rockets drama, Texans ineptitude, or Astros baseball. My hope is that every few days I can be a source of drama-free and easily digestible weather information for you. I'm not going sit here and tell you a hurricane is coming four weeks out or that a regular thunderstorm is the apocalypse. I'm not getting paid enough (or rather at all) to make up stories like that. I hope you stick around and find what I plan to do here useful. Now with that intro out of the way lets get to the weather:

If you have paid attention to any local news over the weekend you probably heard about the possibility of some action in the Gulf of Mexico. Yes, its true, but hold your horses. I'll get there in a minute.

Lets start with the story for the next couple of days - the heat. Today, tomorrow, and Wednesday all look to be typical July days. An area of high pressure has situated itself overhead and that basically means the oven is turned up to broil. For the next 3 days skies will be mostly sunny and temperatures will climb into the upper 90's each afternoon. This is Houston, so what would the heat be without oppressive on top of it. The heat index or rather the "feels like" temperature will be between 105-110 degrees each of these days. Cooling rain showers are highly unlikely during this period but not completely impossible. If you happen to get one consider yourself lucky - maybe go buy a lottery ticket or something. If you work outside you know the drill by now, this will be one of the hottest stretches of days we have seen so far this year.

Ok, now on to the tropical update, eye on the gulf, gulf watch, gulf tracker 3000, or whatever your favorite news station calls their segment on tropical weather. Over the next few days a storm system currently over the southeast US will dive south into the Gulf near the Florida panhandle. This is where the high level of certainty ends with this feature. Over the past couple of days computer models have really struggled with what happens to this system in terms of how it develops and where it goes. The National Hurricane Center gives this system a 60% chance of developing into at least a tropical depression over the next 5 days (see image at the top of this post). Currently it does not look to be a huge concern for us as the thinking is that the system will stay east of the Houston area. It is still far enough in the future though that I can't say our chances of seeing any action from this are absolutely zero, but we have a good amount of time to watch it. I'd say that right now somewhere between New Orleans and Pensacola, Florida has the highest odds of seeing impacts from this system. No matter where it goes though it does not look to be a very strong system once it gets there. Once the forecast becomes a bit clearer you can bet I will be back to let you know.

You can find me on Twitter @stephenuzick

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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