Charlie Pallilo

For what it is worth, Texans are worth a LOT

For what it is worth, Texans are worth a LOT
Bob McNair's Texans are worth 2.8 BILLION. Bob Levey/Getty Images

Forbes Magazine Thursday released its annual valuation of NFL franchises. According to Forbes Bob McNair now holds a property worth four times what he paid for it. McNair’s expansion fee was $700 million dollars; Forbes says the Texans are now worth $2.8 billion. The Cowboys are No. 1 at an even FIVE billion. The Texans come in at number nine. That’s great for generations of McNairs, but if the Texans don’t beat the Giants Sunday the rest of this season will be worth closer to a plugged nickel.

16 games on the week three NFL schedule, Texans-Giants is the only one matching teams that stumbled out of the chute to 0-2 starts. Most years, there is a team that begins 0-2 which winds up in the playoffs. The Texans did it in 2015. An 0-3 start? Call the coroner. The 1998 Bills were the last team to recover from 0-3 to wind up in the postseason. So for late September the stakes are high Sunday. It seems a fair fight. The Texans and Giants both have credible defenses, and atrocious offensive lines that drag down the offenses.

At least the Texans have hope at quarterback with Deshaun Watson. The Giants have 37 year old Eli Manning. Eli has had a fine career highlighted by two runs to Super Bowl victories, but since the second Super win over New England the Giants have made the playoffs once in the last five years. Manning is among many reasons why. Eli is extremely immobile, and while he has that weak o-line he also has what would be the number one tandem picked in a draft of same team running back/wide receiver combos in rookie RB Saquon Barkley and WR Odell Beckham Jr. Some might prefer the speed kills pairing in Kansas City of Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill.

Coaching woes

The evidence mounts that for all his command of a room, Bill O’Brien lacks the goods of big time head coaches. Losing to a Blaine Gabbert quarterbacked Tennessee team was feeble if not a disgrace. Parts of it absolutely were a disgrace. The Texans repeatedly looked poorly coached, unaware, and/or undisciplined.

O’Brien is on his third special teams coach in four years, over which time their special teams have routinely stunk. Gifting the Titans first touchdown by not even covering one of their outside punt coverage guys? You could have justified firings on the spot.  O’Brien’s explanation was lame.

After his “it’s not my job” snorting away questioning of his timeout non-usage at New England, I wonder if O’Brien considers knowing the rules part of his job. It’s a terrible rule, but O’Brien didn’t know the penalty when Gabbert caught his own pass and threw the ball again from behind the line of scrimmage.

On the Astros

While the Texans wallow in franchise mediocrity the Astros close in on back-to-back 100 win seasons for the first time in franchise history, and a crack at getting back to and winning another World Series. The odds are against them winning it all again, but that’s true of any single team. The Astros have as a good a shot as anybody.

I can’t see A.J. Hinch doing it, but if Carlos Correa doesn’t show something at the plate the final week of the regular season there is a case to be made for sitting him against the Indians. In 34 games since returning from the disabled list Correa has been the worst everyday offensive player in the big leagues (OPS a stunningly woeful .480), and it’s not as if he has been trending up of late. Hinch dropped him from the cleanup spot to fifth in the batting order, then to sixth. Correa has three doubles and one homer in 121 at bats. The Indians will start three nasty righthanded pitchers in Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, and Carlos Carrasco. In his career Correa is a combined seven for 39 against them (.179).

The guess is Hinch would hope Correa finds it out of nowhere and produces. It could happen. Sports! And while Correa is a class act, he has an ego as does everybody. The Astros probably wouldn’t want to tempt any possible hard feelings going forward. Correa’s defense has looked fine so the “he’s still hurting” argument seems shaky, but if Correa isn’t physically right and his play is hurting the team he should sit. Unless his back is really messed up and will be an issue going forward, Correa should get back on a star track next season.

Buzzer Beaters

1. Sure didn’t take long for Patrick Mahomes to zip past Watson as the most exciting QB out of the 2017 Draft. Of course, Mahomes has much better offensive teammates and coaching.  2. If UT wants to matter this season, beating TCU is a must. 3. Best college football fight songs: Bronze-Notre Dame Victory March Silver-Yea Alabama Gold-Hail to the Victors (Michigan)



 

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Astros lose to Braves, 6-2. Composite Getty Image.

Reynaldo López struck out seven over six scoreless innings, Orlando Arcia homered and the Atlanta Braves won their third straight, 6-2 over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

López (2-0) allowed four hits and walked one in his third straight sterling outing to start the season.

“It’s like I’ve always said, for me, the important thing is to focus,” López said through an interpreter. “To have the focus during the outings and then, to be able to locate those pitches.”

He has given up one run in 18 innings for an ERA of 0.50.

“He threw the ball really well against a really good hitting club,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “Another solid one.”

Arcia hit a solo home run to left in the second and a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Luis Guillorme and backup catcher Chadwick Tromp each hit a two-run double in the ninth to put the Braves ahead 6-0.

“Tromp has done a good job ever since we’ve been bringing him in these situations and filling in,” Snitker said. “I’ve got all the confidence in the world in him back there. ... He’s an aggressive hitter. He’s knocked in some big runs for us in the limited time that he’s played.”

Kyle Tucker homered for the Astros leading off the ninth against Aaron Bummer, and Mauricio Dubón had a two-out RBI single to cut the lead to four. After Bummer walked Chas McCormick to put two on, Raisel Iglesias induced a groundout by Victor Caratini to end it and secure his fourth save.

“They pitched well, and our guys are grinding out at-bats,” Houston manager Joe Espada said. “Even in the ninth inning there, we’re grinding, fighting until the end.”

Hunter Brown (0-3) yielded two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks in six innings. Brown allowed nine runs in two-thirds of an inning in his previous start, last Thursday against Kansas City.

Brown said he executed better Tuesday than he had in his previous two starts.

“He mixed all his pitches well,” Espada said. “The breaking ball was effective. He threw some cutters in on the hands to some of those lefties. He mixed his pitches really well. That was a really strong performance.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: 2B Ozzie Albies was placed on the 10-day injured list with a broken right big toe. IF David Fletcher had his contract selected from Triple-A Gwinnett to take Albies’ place on the roster.

Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (right shoulder inflammation) threw a side session Tuesday, but Houston will wait until Wednesday to see how Verlander feels before deciding whether he will make his first start this weekend against the Nationals, Espada said. ... RHP Luis Garcia (right elbow surgery) threw around 20-25 pitches off the bullpen mound, and RHP José Urquidy (right forearm strain) also threw off the mound, Espada said. ... LHP Framber Valdez (left elbow soreness) played catch off flat ground.

UP NEXT

Atlanta LHP Max Fried (1-0, 8.74 ERA) starts Wednesday in the series finale opposite RHP J.P. France (0-2, 8.22).

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