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By Joe Kazmar
For the Record 

Texas NFL fans see sloppy football by Texans & Cowboys


Last updated 9/22/2020 at 9:37pm

Sunday’s National Football League fans must be wondering which Lone Star State franchises can make the most mistakes in the first half of their respective games.

The Houston Texans must decide whether their offense or defense is the weakest while the Dallas Cowboys figure out when an opening period of football was ever worst than in Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.

The Cowboys proved to be the most resilient by never running up the white flag and having confidence they definitely were the best team in their game and proved it by erasing a 20-point deficit and scoring 16 points in the final five minutes.

Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott’s statistics will show that he was the hero on paper, but the real star of the Cowboy’s 40-39 victory was new placekicker Greg Zuerlein’s beautiful on-side kick that went spinning downfield slowly like a planet out of orbit.

All 22 players on the field plus the game officials kept waiting for the spinning oblong to travel the required 10 feet and when it first touched that yard line was smothered by Cowboy reserve player C.J. Goodwin, giving the Pokes the football with 1:49 left and behind 39-37.

Prescott kept feeding the football to Ezekiel Elliott like he requested all game long and moved the ball to the Atlanta 29 with 15 seconds left. Prescott grounded his pass and turned the game over to Zuerlein who booted the ball through the uprights.

But it didn’t count because Atlanta had called a time out just before the snap. He put another true kick between the uprights and again it didn’t count because of another time out. The calm Zuerlein did it for a third straight time from 46 yards giving his team an exciting 40-39 victory.

But Prescott did something in the game that no other quarterback has in NFL history—pass for more than 400 yards and rush for three touchdowns.

The Cowboys outgained Atlanta 570-380 in total yards despite having to play two undrafted fill-ins at offensive tackle—rookie Terence Steele and second-year player Brandon Knight—with starters Tyron Smith and La’el Collins out, according to USA Today.

Things didn’t start off well for the Cowboys who fumbled three times and turned the ball over three times, giving Atlanta 17 points. In addition, Dallas tried two fake punts that didn’t work and gave the Falcons two short fields.

Not to be outdone, the Houston Texans went for it on a fourth-and-1and failed while trailing only 3-0 that turned into a Ravens’ touchdown.

Quarterback Deshaun Watson drove his team 75 yards and found tight end Darren Fells in the end zone for Houston’s only touchdown narrowing the deficit to 10-7, which was as close as the Texans ever came.

However, Monday’s Houston Chronicle graded the Texans’ overall performance with an F-minus just like it did in last week’s loss to Kansas City and the coaching an “F”.

For the second straight game, the offensive unit turned in another dreadful performance, according to the Chronicle. And the defense surrendered 230 yards of rushing for the second straight week which proves Houston is not in the same class as Kansas City or Baltimore.

In fact, the Texans are probably not in the same class with AFC South Division members Tennessee or Indianapolis or even Jacksonville.

I can’t imagine how the defense is going to slow down Big Ben Roethlisberger and the rest of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense on Sunday.

KWICKIES…Although his batting average dropped to a paltry .213 after going 0-for-4 Sunday, Astros’ second baseman Jose Altuve remains optimistic that he will get out of his season-long slump if and when his team gets into next week’s AL playoffs.

And while on the subject of the Astros, it was very depressing to hear that 2019 Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander will have Tommy John surgery and could very well miss the rest of this season and perhaps even 2021.

The defending world champion Kansas City Chiefs had to kick a field goal in overtime to subdue the Los Angeles Chargers 23-20 Sunday. The Chiefs almost got beat by rookie quarterback Justin Herbert who completed 22-of-33 passes for 311 yards and a touchdown.

Quarterback Tom Brady posted his first victory for his new team—the Tampa Bay Buccaneers—Sunday 31-13 against the winless Carolina Cougars, throwing one touchdown and one interception.

Bryson DeChambeau began the final round of the U.S. Open two strokes down Sunday and ended up as the only golfer to shoot under par, winning his first major tournament by six strokes over third-round leader Matthew Wolff. He shot a three-under par 67 in the final round and is only the third golfer to shoot under par in Winged Foot championships.

One my favorite golfers—Jim Furyk—joined Arnold Palmer and Bruce Fleisher as the only players to win their first two PGA Tour Champions starts, beating Jerry Kelly with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff in the Pure Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach, Calif.

JUST BETWEEN US…The Houston Astros played their final regular-season game at Minute Maid Park Sunday and began their season-ending road trip to the Left Coast Monday for games against the Seattle and the LA Angels. They have a “Magic Number” of three for clinching the AL West’s second playoff berth over both the Mariners and Angels in games which began Monday. The Astros already have the tiebreaker over Seattle with their 6-1 record but don’t own the tiebreaker over the Angels who have won six of 10 meetings.


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