Hair Of The Dog: Return Of The Kitten (Titans @ Texans)

USA TODAY Sports

If you like burning ants with a magnifying glass, you'll love watching the BRB crew squirm during the second straight last second victory.

My deepest apologies for not providing you, the reader, with an opening weekend version of Hair of the Dog. Sadly, the powers that be at my company decided that it would be a good idea to fly me across the country (on a flight without in-flight television) during the Monday night game.

I got to my hotel room in California right as the third quarter was starting. As I turned on the television, Philip Rivers threw the touchdown pass that put the Chargers up 21. I then proceeded to watch the scintillating comeback.

Oddly enough, I managed to experience the game in the least stressful fashion possible. I enjoyed all the elements of the comeback without having to suffer through the pain of falling behind.

Anyway, since I clearly didn't have a DVR in the hotel, I was unable to retroactively put together the comments for a HotD.  I'm very sorry.

As payment for my insolence, I've decided to provide you, the reader, with more than just a traditional HotD. I'm also going to add a couple of segments: Beer of the week and game day meal.

As always, and as notice to the newbs, we're going to keep this family friendly (yes, having a Beer of the Day is still family friendly), we're going to replace all curse words with "kitten".

Game Day Meal:

This week we're having grilled pork tacos with guacamole, salsa verde, and refried beans. For the tacos, you need to butterfly a pork loin and make a marinade with 6 guajillo chiles (seeded and soaked in 1/2 cup of vinegar until soft), the vinegar from soaking the chiles, 1 tsp ea of salt, oregano, black pepper, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of ground cloves. Marinade 4-6 hours and then grill. This was shamelessly stolen from Steven Raichlen. Serve with corn tortillas.

For the salsa verde, I roast some tomatillos on a comal and blend with serrano peppers, salt, cilantro, garlic and onion. Then, and I learned this trick from my cousin who's a chef in Mexico City, I simmer it with a cube of chicken bouillon.

Guac is guac, but I don't like tomato in mine. Instead, I like to finely dice some red onion in there. It gives it a bit of sharpness and some nice texture.

Lastly, home made refried beans are super easy and waaaay better than any of that canned kitten. Simply saute some onion until it's translucent and then add some canned black beans (if you want to use dried beans, just soak overnigh in water with onion and epazote, but I'm lazy today). Take a potato smasher and smash the beans. Season with salt and serve.

Beer of the Week:

Today's beer of the week is Fat Tire from New Belgium Brewery. Fat Tire isn't the best beer in the world, but what it does, it does very well. New Belgium is an interesting name for the brewery as the beers are decidedly not Belgian in style. Belgian style beers almost always have a very distinctive sour-ish flavor that they get from the Belgian yeasts. Fat Tire is clearly brewed with an American yeast which tends to offer a far more crisp finish. I would define Fat Tire as a very balanced beer with a toasted malt flavor and a light hop finish.

Normally, with that kind of meal, I would recommend a hoppy IPA, but I've selected it here for a few reasons. First, I didn't think of this feature until just before game time, and this is what I have around. Second, they just started selling Fat Tire here in Florida, so we're rediscovering each other. Third, the homebrew I have on tap is fairly similar.

Now, on to the commentary.

Pregame:

mbw:

If Houston loses today I'm already blaming it on someone choosing Vanilla Ice to do the halftime show.

TDC:

The idea of Tim dancing to Vanilla Ice has already made my day

First Quarter:

Corzo:

Ben Tate running for his new contract!!

Vega (after Graham's TD catch):

That was such an awesome "kitten you" opening drive.

mbw:

I'm glad Foster will never have another 30 carry game as long as Tate is around.

This scoring touchdowns in the red zone trend is still weirding me out.

Corzo:

That was so easy it makes me think an anvil is floating over my head or something.

Vega:

If Foster rushes for another 12 yards, he and Tate will each have more yards than Pittsburgh did all of last week. Maybe last week's game said more about the Steelers than it did about the BESF.

Corzo:

Darryl Sharpton sighting!

UT:

And back on the sideline. What. A. Shock.

Vega (after BESF TD):

Should I be worried about the defense this year?

Brett:

That was just a plain good throw from Locker.

mbw:

Dare I say Jake Locker has been accurate, Guaaahhhhhh.

Vega:

For what it's worth, and even though it's against the BESF, I hate that penalty.

mbw:

The coverage wasn't bad on the TD, McCain did a very good job. Joseph did much worse on the other 3rd down conversion.

TDC:

Brice McCain bamboozled Rick Smith.

Vega:

Shaub so far. 1-1 for 1 yard and 1 TD. I like his ratios.

UT:

That DeAndre is good at the footed ball.

UT:

Get up Andre. GET UP! In the name of all that is holy GET UP!!!

mbw:

3rd down give up play

Brett (after Bullock's missed FG):

YOU HAD ONE JOB, RANDY.

mbw:

I bet TEN goes for it on 4th and 1 here.

Second Quarter:

Corzo:

Brilliant 4th down stop

D_more:

Anyone else think the all Oiler-blue is one more middle finger by Bud Adams to Houston?

mbw:

Yeah I believe so and they're hideous.

These 3rd downs have been putrid today. Schaub only looking at Dre that last play.

UT:

I consider the XV patch on their jerseys a massive middle finger.

Vega:

Is anyone else about to lost it the next time they throw a four yard pattern on 3rd and 6?

Brett:

Britt had a good shot at that one. Locker over threw him.

TDC:

Joseph's not right...not when Manning is outrunning him.

Wouldn't surprise me if he was cap cut at the end of the year.

UT:

A screen on first and 15? Really?

Vega:

I don't think it was a screen. I think the Titans are really trying to take away the deep ball. Lots of check downs so far.

Brett (after Duane Brown's injury):

OH GOD NO ANYBODY BUT DUANE

UT:

Kitten. Just. Kitten

Brett:

If Brown has a serious injury the season is over. Just flat out over.

mbw:

A blast of fear rides down my spine every time Pollard makes a tackle

UT (after Bullock's second missed FG):

So...is 11a.m. too early to start drinking?

Vega:

You're not drinking?

TDC:

Joe Marciano drafted Bullock over Blair Walsh.

Bullock can't hit from 50 while Blair Walsh is straight cash from 50+.

Fire Joe Marciano.

Vega:

I'm going to start pouring vodka in my homebrew.

Brett:

Thank Christ. Pancakes says Duane going back in after ankle gets tape.

mbw:

You never know when an o-lineman falls on another's leg. It happens very often and usually it's more frightening than an injury occurring, like a shock. Than there being anything wrong.

Vega:

As good as the run game has been, where's the kittening play action?

UT:

Vizzini mode: ACTIVATED.

tGC:

Punting to get a net 20 yards of field position. What happened to last week's Kubiak?

UT (after Schaub's WTF interception):

I...what the...why...oh just kitten everything.

mbw:

I'm about to start ripping my pubic hair out.

Vega:

Titan's love running plays with long yardage. It's like Kubiak is calling their plays.

Half Time:

Vega:

The fact that we're losing right now is disgusting. The fact that we're only down 3 is oddly refreshing.

Brett:

Ill bet a substantial amount of money that MDC is watching this game but just refuses to admit it to anyone out of shame...like a drug addict. He just can't quit.

Vega:

Did Bill Cowher Really just say that Houston can't get the running game going? Texans have 12 carries for 107 yards while Schaub is 8/14 for 52 yards with one TD and one INT.

Is it really so bad to just say, "um... yeah, I'm not really watching that game."

Brett:

To be honest though outside of that 60 yard run he's got a point.

Vega:

Taking away the 60 yard Tate run, the Texans are still averaging 4.3. Not dominant, but hardly "not finding the running game"

mbw:

Matt Schaub- 8/14 52 yards 1 TD 1 INT

Jake Locker- 7/12 50 Yards 1 TD 0 INT

Matt Schaub is pulling a Jake Locker here today, I just vomited up some egg salad in my mouth.

UT:

Oh...good. They showed Vanilla Ice performing at halftime. My day is complete now.

BARKEEP!

Third Quarter:

Brett:

Whitney's added strength has really showed up in his run defense. He can actually bench a tackle now.

Corzo:

Lechler is a master punter.

Vega (after the BESF punted out of bounds again):

Are the BESF really that scared of Martin as a returner?

mbw:

I'm done if they don't score any points after the field position the defense just handed to them.

Vega:

No you're not. We only have room for one irrational Matt boycott.

mbw:

Finally a first down.

Maybe we shouldn't run the ball on 1st down every drive-Gary Kubiak

Vega:

I know we benefit, but I hate the roughing the passer rules these days.

mbw (after the Owen Daniels touchdown):

Got em'

I don't know if I said this before, but I really love the empty back field set.

D_more:

Owen Daniels to the rescue with the Willy Mays catch.

Corzo:

Finger tip catch! Owen Daniels! Utterly brilliant.

Brett:

Schaub has thrown all 5 of his touchdowns to tight ends so far this season.

Vega (after Watt's sack):

I just cheered J.J. Watt and my wife asked if that's my boyfriend. I said yes.

Brett:

Kareem is going to be expensive next year. Very expensive.

Brett:

Ugh, Kareem was SO close to picking that.

UT:

Ah the first penalty on special teams. I was wondering when that'd finally happen.

Vega:

That cut by Foster gave me an erection.

Brett:

AT A BOY BRANDON. THAT'S HOW YOU REACH BLOCK.

Fourth Quarter:

Vega (with the BESF backed up to their own goal line):

I wonder what's going through Jake Locker's mind right now that even in this situation, they're handing the ball off.

Corzo:

Hahahaha... Titans are self-destructing with these fouls.

mbw (during the Texans' challenge that Johnson didn't get out of the endzone):

There's the challenge.

Wade Phillips has shut down the middle school offense so far this half.

Vega:

Here's what I love with this challenge: If it goes against the Texans, the BESF are still kittened.

UT (when the call was reversed):

S...A...F...E...T...Y DANCE kittens.

Brett:

You have to get the ball out of the OTHER side of the plain Solomon...

Vega:

My daughter just climbed on to the couch with me and cheered for the Texans when the call was reversed. I just cried.

Vega:

For the love of God and everything holy... why are we running Andre Johnson on a 3 yard crossing route on 3rd and 9?!?!?!

Brett (after the Titans' illegal touching-non-fumble-turnover):

HOLY KITTEN SPECIAL TEAMS ARE SHOWING UP TODAY

mbw:

That might be one of the weirdest rules I've seen

Vega:

Ok, somebody has to explain that kitten to me. I'm too drunk to figure it out on my own.

Brett:

How was that illegal touching? The kitten? Did I miss something?

TDC:

I don't get it.

It's legal for Houston to touch the ball to keep it in the field of play.

Vega (after Kareem Jackson gave up the majority of the BESF 99-yard TD drive):

Kareem Jackson just got cheaper.

mbw:

I have no idea what just happened. They went from 4 or 5 drives pinned within in the 10 and not being able to get a first down to going 99 yards and taking the lead.

UT:

That was about as complete a defensive meltdown as humanly possible.

D_more:

The Texans have fallen, and they can't get up.

Vega (after Schaub's pick six):

I don't care what Solomon says. Hopkins may have kittened up, but Schaub cannot throw that.

UT:

Kitten my life.

Corzo:

Uggghhhhh. Not gonna be fun looking at the tape here.

mbw:

The whole middle of the field wasn't utilized either.

D_more:

The tales of two weeks. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times with Matt Schaub at quarterback.

Vega:

Schaub is as immobile a quarterback in the pocket as I think I've ever seen. And this has nothing to do with athleticism. Dan Marino was probably the slowest QB of all time, but he knew how to avoid the rush.

mbw:

Whether HOU wins or lose the offense really kittened this game up.

UT:

So we ARE going with the "Miracle out the Rectum" method of winning games.

Vega (after Andre Johnson got knocked down and had a completion called incomplete):

How the kitten is that not hitting a defenseless receiver?!

UT:

CHALLENGE THAT!!!

Oh God please get up Andre.

Corzo:

Kitten the game, I hope Andre is okay.

That pass was complete, by the way.

D_more:

Yes, that's a catch and a personal foul

mbw:

If that isn't a 15 yard penalty I have no clue WTF is. Bernard Pollard.

Corzo:

Concussion protocol incoming for Andre.

mbw:

Pollard and Karrem both will both be fined after this game.

Vega:

Conspiracy theory. Andre isn't hurt. He just wanted to give Kubiak enough time to determine whether he wanted to challenge.

Vega:

Oh, what I wouldn't give for one of those missed field goals right now.

Author's note: The Texans are about to score the TD and 2-point conversion. The discussion is quiet right now as we all try to peel ourselves off our respective floors.

Vega:

My left arm is tingling.

UT:

To quote Danny Glover, "I'm getting too old for this kitten."

Corzo:

YYYYEESSSSSSS I love you Arian.

Should've gone for a three point conversion, though.

mbw:

That was one of the toughest runs I've seen.

Difference between Arian and CJ

Corzo:

Wade Phillips has balls bigger than all of us put together call that double safety blitz.

UT:

Oh God, it's going to come down to a field goal, isn't it?

I'm going to be ill.

mbw:

I can't wait to see the win probabilities from this game.

Vega:

Probably about 50% the whole time.

Vega:

Bullock for 50+ for the win. Kitten

Corzo:

It all comes down to Bullock.

Kittenin' poetic, almost..

D_more:

randy bullock is a texan if he makes it, and he's an Aggie if he doesn't

Vega:

I'm sending a cardiologist bill to Kubiak.

Corzo:

LMAO THIS IS COMICAL

Ices kicker - he makes it.

Offsides - blocked

Ices kicker again - misses it.

KILL ME.

UT:

Then why am I not laughing?

mbw:

A double icing by Munchak and the fat man misses.

Shayne Graham Where art thou?

D_more:

FAT AGGIE KICKER!

Vega:

At the end of the day, we saw Bullock take three kicks at it and he missed two.

Overtime:

Vega:

Silver lining: 30 minutes ago, I would have killed for OT.

That, and I still have plenty of homebrew.

mbw:

A Spin move? That only works in Madden.

mbw:

At this point if we have to kick another FG I'd rather just see Lechler come in and take it.

Vega:

I'd rather we just go for it on 4th down.

Vega (after Hopkins made an incredible catch on the 1):

Somebody give Nuk a cookie.

Corzo:

Holy hell. This is why we drafted you DeAndre!

Vega:

I think I'm changing the Beer of the Day to a 40 of OE out of a paper bag. Just because I need the paper bag.

mbw:

Houston should only draft receivers with Dre in their name from now on.

mbw (after the game winning TD):

LOL that's awesome.

DeAndre gets me aroused.

UT:

I LOVE YOU DEANDRE I WANT TO INTRODUCE YOU TO MY SISTER!!!

D_more:

joy-overload. Hopkins has arrived.

UT:

A BIG kittening cookie.

Vega:

I've officially submitted paperwork to rename my older daughter "De" and my younger daughter "Andre".

That should cover it.

TDC:

No words. I have none.

Corzo:

Brilliant catch, great throw.

Much credit to the Titans, also. That D Line plus Gregg Williams' aggressiveness blends well.

Two weeks in, and the Texans have won two games on the last play. On the bright side, they're 2-0, but when you step back and look at the artwork, it's hard not to think a little poop made its way onto the canvas. Andre's injury is by far the greatest concern. After that, the kicking game is the greatest concern.

The secondary gave up some big plays today, but I'm less worried about that. In today's NFL, that's just going to happen. The pass rush seemed solid, but for some reason, the defense has displayed a tendency to give up big drives. I guess what has me the most concerned is that this is happening against Philip Rivers and Jake Locker. The next three weeks see the defense face off against Joe Flacco, Russell Wilson, and Colin Kaepernick.

On the other hand, the team has displayed the ability to make key plays at key times. I know that there's no statistical evidence for "clutchness" (and as a guy who's made a living at statistics, I can appreciate that), but anyone who's played any level of sports can tell you that some players have to have an ability to find inner calm and make plays in the face of adversity. Randy Bullock aside, the Texans seem to be able to do that. Being able to come back and win with your best player on the bench -- only a week after coming back from being down 21 on the road -- cannot be ignored.

Now if we could only avoid falling behind in the first place.

Game balls:

Offense: Midway through the fourth quarter, I thought to myself, "Self, who the kitten are you going to give an offensive game ball to?" At the moment, the choice was Ben Tate, who I will miss dearly next season. Yet, when all is said and done, DeAndre Hopkins earns his first HotD game ball. Clear the mantle, DeAndre.

Defense: This game ball goes to J.J. Cushing. Or Brian Watt. Cushing had 2 sacks, 11 tackles, 4 TFL, and an overall badassedness about him. Watt, on the other hand had 5 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 TFL, and 2 PD. I don't want to choose between them, and you can't make me.

Special Teams: Randy Bullock. Kidding... kidding. Seriously, can I give him an exploding game ball? No, this goes to Shane Lechler for doing the best punting job I've seen outside of that dude from my marketing department. I haven't watched many Oakland games in recent years, but i would imagine he was the only reason to watch.

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