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Red Zone Play: The ‘Stros Effect

The Astros’ resilience should be an inspiration to the Texans as they chase their first title.

New England Patriots v Houston Texans Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The season starts with a normal mix of unrealistic enthusiasm, unbridled hope, and a little bit of unspoken trepidation that this is going to be another disappointing year when it’s all over and done.

Things starts out a little unsteady, then start to pick up steam, building a wave of fire in the hearts of the fan base. Then, it happens—almost back-to-back injuries take out two of the biggest names on the team.

Everyone throws their hands in the air and starts making up excuses why the season has ended just after it began.

Time to wait for next season. Again.

But then something magical happens. The team rallies around each other. They bleed a little bit, but they live to fight another day, waiting to get whole.

A few key roster moves, and the next thing you know, they’re blowing out rivals in historical fashion.

Then they make it to the playoffs and finally the championship.

Everything until that last sentence could easily be a microcosm of the Houston Texans’ 2017 campaign thus far.

But it’s about the other beloved franchise in H-Town, the Astros.

After losing players like Dallas Keuchel, George Springer, and Carlos Correa for significant stretches of the season, the ‘Stros take the field at 7 p.m. tonight in the first game of the 2017 World Series.

What got them there was a never give up, never surrender mentality coupled with smart coaching and some rather amazing talent.

That last sentence could also be used to describe our beloved Houston Texans.

Sure, J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus are out. Brian Cushing may never play an H-Town down again. Sure, history may repeat itself. Guess what? It may not.

Duane Brown is back. Hopefully his return does wonders for Houston’s offensive line, morally, cohesively, and as a much needed infusion of talent.

Deshaun Watson has already landed some of his equipment in the NFL Hall of Fame.

That’s our quarterback!

With Duane Brown back, the offense suddenly jumps up a notch further, and Deshaun Watson’s odds of becoming the runaway NFL Rookie of the Year grow even stronger.

This sort of offensive firepower takes a lot of pressure off the ailing defense, too. No longer are Jadeveon Clowney, Benardrick McKinney, Johnathan Joseph and company expected to hold the opponent at bay for 40+ minutes a game. The times they must defend a short field due to unending three and outs are over as well.

While it remains to be seen if the Astros can bring a World Series Championship to Houston, the fact they overcame what they did, set some records along the way, and won with the assistance of some young superstars is a template Bill O’Brien and his players need to follow.

Grab some peanuts, popcorn, or whatever your favorite spectacle snack is and prepare to watch the Astros battle for a world championship and make Houston proud.