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Jordan Smith
October 29

2,000 Strong

Houston Sports Beat Primary Logo

By: Jordan Smith

Houston Sports Beat has reached their next pinnacle. On day 165, just 55 days after HSB reached 1,000 Unique Visitors since the creation of the blog, HSB has now reached the 2,000 Club. Today, October 29th, 2014, Houston Sports Beat reached its' 2,000 Unique Visitor since the creation of the blog on May 17th, 2014. "This is a momentous day for us today", commented Houston Sports Beat's writer Jordan Smith. "After we got to 1,000, we were only looking to the next mark at 2,000 Uniques. It means the world to us that we were able to accomplish what we have so far in the first 6 months of blogging."

2,000 Unique Visitors for Houston Sports Beat in 165 days

Houston Sports Beat would like to Thank everyone for their continued support for this Sports Blog. None of this would be possibe without your help. You, the reader, are the reason this blog is not only as successful as it has been these first 165 days, but also the reason why we are still continuing to make stories and create a reader-friendly platform to please all kinds of reading styles. Thank You readers for all of your support.

Welcome to Our Hall of Fame.

October 28

2014-2015 Houston Rockets Season Preview

The Rockets are an up-and-coming team that will win a championship within the next 4 years

By: Jordan Smith

With the Houston Rockets opening the NBA season tonight in LA against the Lakers, it got me thinking. What are we exactly gonna see from the new look Rockets this season? So, to accommodate that answer, here's my Houston Rockets 2014-2015 Season Preview.

Star Talent

The amount of Star Talent on this team has only gone down since the end of the Rockets' playoff run. The team lost Chandler Parsons to the Dallas Mavericks after the Rockets decided to not match the offer sheet from Dallas for the emerging star. Also, Jeremy Lin was traded to the Lakers to make room to afford Parsons and Bosh. But now, neither player is on the team.

Grade: B-/C+

Veteran Leadership

The positive to the offseason is that the amount of experience and veteran leadership has risen dramatically. This is due to the Rockets trading for Jason Terry and signing Trevor Ariza in the off-season while also re-signing Francisco Garcia to the team. These veteran figures in the locker room will not only help out players like Isaiah Canaan and Tarik Black with their development on this squad.

Grade: B+

Overall Talent

The team as a whole is a nice mix of old and new. With James Harden and Dwight Howard leading the team at their young ages and the mix of veteran experience with Jason Terry and Trevor Ariza, it's a nice mix that also blends in with players like Francisco Garcia, Patrick Beverly, Isaiah Canaan, and Terrence Jones just to name a few. I'm really interested to see this squad come together to see what kind of team the Rockets have this season and where this squad can go in a tough Western Conference.

Grade: A-

My Prediction

What do I think the Houston Rockets are going to do in the 2014-2015 Season? My prediction is that the Rockets will once again go to the playoffs and reach the second round of the playoffs with ease.

Record: 50-32, Playoff Berth

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October 26

Houston Astros 2014 Season Review

The 2014 Astros surprised alot by winning 19 more games than in 2013

By: Jordan Smith

I know this is really late. But, here you go. Here's your 2014 Houston Astros Season Review.

The Houston Astros ended their 2014 season with a loss to the New York Mets on September 28th by a final of 3-8. But, the Houston Astros, in my opinion had a pretty successful 2014 campaign. The Houston Astros finished their season of new beginnings with a 70-92 record. The last time the Astros won 70 games was in the 2010 season when they won 76-86. I had predicted for the Astros to go 81-81 this season and reach the playoffs with a wild card spot. Maybe the playoffs were a stretch, but the record speaks for itself. The Houston Astros, with a 70-92 record in 2014, surpassed their record from the 2013 campaign by 18 games. But, that wasn't the only thing improving with the organization.

This season had alot of new beginnings for the young ball club. For example, George Springer and Jon Singleton, 2 of the Astros highest rated prospects in the minor leagues, mad their MLB Debuts. George Springer appeared in 78 games for the Astros before being shut down for the year due to injury. Jon Singleton appeared in 95 games for the Astros. Both of their stats are below.

Rookie Stats

Stat Categories

George Springer

Jon Singleton

AVG

.231 (68/295)

.168 (52/310)

RBI

51

44

BB

39

50

SB

5/7

2/5

2B

8

13

OBP/ SLG/ OPS

.336/ .468/ .804

.285/ .335/ .620

Now, below is a video of some of the top moments of the Houston Astros' 2014 campaign. Let's take a look.

So, my final grade for the Astros this season:

B+/A-

I fully expect the Houston Astros of 2015 to make the playoffs and become the Royals of Baseball.

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October 26

There's a first for everything

The reader is always #1 in our opinion

By: Jordan Smith & Houston Sports Beat

For the first time in Houston Sports Beat's 6-Month History, a post produced by HSB's writer, Jordan Smith, has reached 200 Unique Visitors. We would like to Thank everyone for not only coming to the blog and supporting our work, but also spreading the word and continuing to come back to our blog. Our readers are #1 Priority on our objective list. So, when Historic events like this happen for us, we are estatic because you are the reason why this is all possible. So, once again, we say Thank You for your continued support and we would just like to say, "Welcome to Our Family".

Welcome to Our Family

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October 26

Foster pounds Titans for first win in 4 weeks

Foster leads Texans to Franchise Win #200

By: Jordan Smith

Arian Foster helped the Houston Texans put an end to their three-game skid in time for a signature moment in franchise history. Foster ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns and also caught a pass for a score, and the Texans beat the Tennessee Titans 30-16 Sunday for a win in the franchise's 200th game. The Texans (4-4) finally got a win as Foster topped 100 yards rushing in his fourth straight game. J.J. Watt had two sacks and forced a fumble as the Texans beat the team they replaced in Houston for the fourth time in five games.

Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney played for the first time since hurting his knee in the season opener. Clowney finished with one tackle. Rookie Zach Mettenberger turned the ball over twice in his first start, and he also threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns. The Titans (2-6) go into their bye having lost two straight. The Texans had given up 24 points in a single quarter each of their past two losses. This time, they trailed only 3-0 early before scoring 27 straight points. They had no trouble throttling a Tennessee offense playing three rookies with left tackle Taylor Lewan and running back Bishop Sankey joining Mettenberger. D.J. Swearinger intercepted a Mettenberger pass in the second quarter to end the Titans' first drive into Houston territory, and Tim Jamison recovered the fumble after Watt sacked Mettenberger and popped the ball out to end Tennessee's first drive in the third quarter.

Houston led 13-3 at halftime, a lead that should have been much bigger. The Titans forced the Texans to settle for two field goals by Randy Bullock on drives inside the Tennessee 12, and Houston had first-and-goal at the Titans 2 when Fitzpatrick was sacked for the fourth time. Foster broke loose on a 34-yard TD where he cut back to his right and outraced the Titans to the pylon with 6:00 left in the first half to put Houston ahead to stay. He also caught a 5-yard TD pass, and he scored on a 1-yard run a play after he just missed on a 43-yard run in the third quarter. Bullock finished with three field goals, including a long of 49 yards.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt turned his offense over to Mettenberger, the sixth-round draft pick out of LSU, after the Titans had lost five of six with Jake Locker missing three of those with separate injuries. Mettenberger gave glimpses of his strong arm with a 48-yard toss to Kendall Wright and a 43-yarder to Nate Washington. The rookie had his first career TD pass on a 6-yarder to Delanie Walker.

The quarterback switch didn't fix Tennessee's other woes. The run game remains nonexistent. Three of the Titans' six penalties were on the offense, and not being flagged once in the second half counted as progress.

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October 26

3 is the magic number

By: Jordan Smith

For the 3rd time in the 6 months that Houston Sports Beat has been in existance, the blog has reached 300 Unique Visitors in less than a month. We would like to Thank everyone who has come to the blog in the past 6 months and everyone who comes in the future. It's party time!

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October 24

BREAKING NEWS: CSN Houston lays off 75, about to lose network

CSN Houston is on the outs

By: Jordan Smith

Seventy-five of the 115 employees of Comcast SportsNet Houston were informed Tuesday their jobs will be eliminated if a bankruptcy judge approves a plan backed by the Astros and Rockets to sell the financially troubled network to DirecTV and AT&T. Employees were informed of the potential layoffs as mandated by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires companies with at least 100 workers to provide 60-day notice in advance of certain plant closings or mass layoffs.

As company officials delivered the news, one employee said a funereal atmosphere descended over the network’s studios in downtown Houston, midway between Minute Maid Park and Toyota Center. “You just watched rows and rows of people walk into a room and come out with letters telling them, ‘Hey, thanks for two years, and now you’ve got nothing,’” the employee said. “There wasn’t a lot of outward anger. It was pretty subdued.”

But after the announcements, another employee said, “Everybody was back at their desks, working on the next show.” Based on details in letters prepared for city and state officials, 40 employees were notified their jobs will be retained by the AT&T/DirecTV partnership, which will rebrand CSN Houston as Root Sports Houston under a Chapter 11 reorganization plan pending before Bankruptcy Judge Marvin Isgur.

Root Sports will include distribution on DirecTV and AT&T U-verse in addition to Comcast. The AT&T/DirecTV partnership plans to drop its contract for Dynamo games, but team officials say the network has expressed interest in a new deal for the 2015 season. Most employees who will be retained for Root Sports Houston are employed in game production. Also retained will be Rockets broadcasters Bill Worrell, Matt Bullard and Calvin Murphy; Astros field reporter Julia Morales; and sportscasters Bart Enis and Kevin Eschenfelder.

Astros announcers Bill Brown, Alan Ashby and Geoff Blum and Rockets analyst Clyde Drexler are team employees and are not affected. Among those whose contracts are not being retained by AT&T/DirecTV, according to court documents, include reporters and anchors Tiffany Blackmon, Steve Bunin, Howard Chen, Bill Doleman, Sara Eckert, Cory Hepola, Kelli Johnson, John Kelly, James Palmer, Marius Payton, Leila Rahimi and Sebastian Salazar. So now, Houston will have a new sports network come the start of the regular season for the Houston Rockets.

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October 21

Texans fall to Steelers 30-23

Texans lose 3rd straight game on Monday Night
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

By: Jordan Smith

Well, at least the Texans started strong. After some awful offensive starts through the first six weeks of the season, the Texans actually came out firing on Monday. They scored on their first drive and went up 13 points early. Then, the wheels came off. The Steelers scored 24 unanswered points to end the first half and went on to beat the Texans 30-23 in Pittsburgh.

The Texans scored with under two minutes left in the game to cut into the Steelers’ lead. But they finished the game seven points away. They had a chance to recover and onside kick but couldn’t fall on it. They fell behind when the Steelers scored 24 points in 2:54 seconds in the second quarter to take the lead away from the Texans. After the Steelers drove down the field to kick a field goal, Danieal Manning bobbled the ensuing kickoff to pin the Texans deep. Then, Arian Foster fumbled the ball and the Steelers scored. On the next possession, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw an interception to Brett Keisel and the Steelers’ offense punched it in. They scored 21 points in just over 1:30.

The Texans started off the game with a defensive stop. After a punt, they started their first drive at their own 6-yard-line and drove 94 yards for the score. Foster was instrumental to the success of the offense in the first quarter. The Texans scored on their next two drives but settled for field goals on both and squandered the opportunity to put the Steelers in a big hole. The Texans had chances in the second half but continued to shoot themselves in the foot, first with penalties, then with a costly turnover from DeAndre Hopkins.

The turning point

After the Steelers scored their first touchdown, Danieal Manning bobbled the kickoff, which pinned the offense deep. Arian Foster then fumbled, which led to another touchdown and the Texans never regained the lead.

What it means

The Texans are below .500 for the first time this season at 3-4. They missed a big opportunity to put themselves in the mix for a wild card spot. They have lost three in a row.

Offensive hero

Despite a huge – HUGE – fumble in the second quarter, Foster was the reason the Texans were able to get out to an early lead. After a great start, the Steelers’ defense stacked the box against the Texans.

Offensive zero

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a bad interception in the second quarter and just wasn’t very good all game.

Defensive hero

Whitney Mercilus had a good game and has played well in the last two weeks. He got some pressure and was solid against the run.

Defensive zero

Brian Cushing just hasn’t looked like himself recently. He wasn’t good on Monday.

Key stat

The Texans gave up 24 points in 2:54 seconds in the second quarter.

Did you know?

When Watt recovered a fumble in the first quarter, it was the ninth of his career. He became the Texans’ all-time leader in that stat. He was tied with DeMeco Ryans with eight.

Who's next?

The Texans are a day behind as they prepare to take on the Titans in Tennessee on Sunday. The Titans are 2-5.

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October 20

5 things to watch for

The Texans (3-3) travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers (3-3) on Monday Night Football. Here are five matchups to watch:

1. Arian Foster vs. Cam Thomas

The Steelers are without normal nose tackle Steve McLendon (shoulder) for Monday's game. That means Cam Thomas will step in and have to stop the third-leading rusher in the NFL. Despite missing a game, Foster has 513 yards on 106 attempts. That's behind just DeMarco Murray and Le'Veon Bell.

2. Le'Veon Bell vs. Texans defense

Speaking of Le'Veon Bell, he came into the weekend as the NFL's second-leading rusher with 542 yards. He's a big back but deceptively quick. The Texans haven't been great against the run even though it seems like they have the ability. They have given up 125.7 yards per game, good for 21st in the NFL. Against the Cowboys, the Texans' defense used nose tackle Ryan Pickett at defensive end and Jerrell Powe at nose. Don't be surprised to see them do that again.

3. Johnathan Joseph vs. Antonio Brown

Joseph is still the Texans' best outside cornerback and Antonio Brown is off to a fantastic start to 2014. Brown has 629 receiving yards, which to start the weekend was just three behind the NFL's leading receiver, Jordy Nelson. Brown was a Pro Bowler last season but he's on pace for an even better season in 2014.

4. J.J. Watt vs. Ben Roethlisberger

Normally, the matchup to watch is J.J. Watt vs. a tackle or guard but once he gets to Roethlisberger, can he bring him down? Watt had Andrew Luck in his sights last week but couldn't bring him down. Roethlisberger, like Luck, is tough to bring down. But Watt should have his chances. Since he entered the league in 2004, Roethlisberger has been sacked 403 times and no one else is close. The next player on the list is Eli Manning with 265. What does that mean? Well, the Texans will have their opportunities on Monday.

5. Garrett Graham vs. Steelers safeties

Yes, the Texans haven't used their tight ends much in 2014. But there might not be a better chance to start. Mike Mitchell (knee) is probable but has been banged up and while Troy Polamalu has been solid against the run, he's a liability in coverage. The Texans have to find a way to get their tight ends more involved in the offensive gameplan aside from being extra blockers. They can be utilized much better in Bill O'Brien's offense.

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October 16

Houston Sports Beat now reaching 30 Countries

By: Jordan Smith

Houston Sports Beat has now reached 30 different countries with pageviews around the world after Poland joined the group earlier this week. We would like to thank all 30 countries for your continued support in Houston Sports Beat. We only hope you continue to keep coming to the exclusive home for all of your Houston Sports, Houston Sports Beat.

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