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The Captain's Log 2014, Game 14: "A Savage Winter"

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Capt Ron chronicles the Texans' latest loss to the Colts, the situation at quarterback, and the continuation of J.J. Watt's MVP campaign.

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Captain's Log Supplemental

This game reminded all of us how a player and a team are just one snap away from disaster.  The defense played their hearts out, and it would have been enough to win if the offense could have produced more than just three points.  There wasn't much of a chance for rookie Tom Savage though, as it was clear that he had not been given many practice reps to be ready to enter the game.

The thing I take away from this season so far is that this coaching staff is capable of doing a damn good job with whatever talent they have available.  When you consider the limited roster Houston has and the lack of depth in several key areas, it is quite impressive that they have been "in" almost every game this year.  They have beaten bad teams, and they have held strong against good teams.  There hasn't been much of a contribution from the last two draft classes so far, yet the Texans have played some really good football each week.

There are two games remaining in the regular season.  I hope that the Texans continue to go out and battle every play to the bitter end.

GO TEXANS!

Summary of Key Stats

TEXANS COLTS
First Downs 14 20
Net Rushing Yards 137 110
Net Passing Yards 152 168
Total Net Yards 289 278
Passing ATT-COMP-INT 13-25-1
Fitz 3-6-0
Savage 10-19-1
18-34-1
Third Down Efficiency 5/16 (31%) 2/12 (16%)
Touchdowns 1 2
Field Goals (made/attempted) 1 / 1 1 / 1
Fumbles / Lost 2 / 1 1 / 1
Turnovers (lost) 2 1
Penalties (QTY / Yards) 8 - 66 7 - 45
Sacks (defense) 2 1
Interceptions (defense) 1 1
Fumbles Recovered (defense) 0 1
Time of Possession 31:05 28:55
Red Zone Efficiency 0/0 (0%) 1/2 (50%)
Goal To Go Efficiency 0/0 (0%) 1/1 (100%)
Points From Turnovers 7 7
FINAL SCORE 10 17


Around the AFC South...

COLTS (10-4)

Indy clinched another division championship with the win over the Texans.  The Colts will now host at least one game in the playoffs, as they are projecting to be the 3rd seed in the AFC.  They will next go on the road to play Dallas (10-4) and will close out the regular season against the Titans in Tennessee.

TITANS (2-12)

The Jets (3-11) went into Tennessee as one of the candidates for the 1st-overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.  You would think they might actually try to win that race in order to select Marcus Mariota to improve their uncertain quarterback situation.  Instead, they beat the Titans 16-11.  Very interesting.

Tennessee heads to Jacksonville this week for Thursday Night Football.  I'm going to take a wild guess that this might be the smallest viewing audience for any NFL game this season.  Perhaps they will just train the cameras on the pool deck and hold a bikini contest instead.  The Titans will close out their dreadful regular season by hosting the Colts.

JAGUARS (2-12)

Jacksonville traveled to Baltimore (9-5) and lost 20-12.  As noted above, they will host Tennessee this Thursday.  Texans fans might consider pulling for the Titans in this game to ensure they don't get the 1st-overall pick in the next draft.  Clearly the Jaguars are rolling with Blake Bortles at QB for a few years, but the Titans may or may not be convinced that Zach Mettenberger is the answer.  We don't want to see Mariota in Tennessee!

The Jaguars will wrap up the regular season at NRG Stadium in Houston.  Three of the AFC South teams will gladly close the book on 2014 in hopes that free agency and the 2015 NFL Draft will bring opportunities for brighter futures.

Sick Bay

"I'm a doctor, not a backup quarterback!"

INJURY UPDATES THIS WEEK:

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was placed on injured reserve with a broken leg (tibia).

QB Tom Savage is listed as "out" in the next game due to a knee injury (unknown specifics).

WR Andre Johnson (concussion) may return to action this week against the Ravens.

LB Whitney Mercilus (back)--no update.

LB Brian Cushing (knee) only played 28 snaps in the game against the Colts.

Movie Quote (name it):

You ever feel cursed, Coach? Like, no matter what, inside your heart you feel that you're gonna lose. Like something's hanging over you, following you like a witch or a demon that just... I feel like that all the time. Even when things are going good. When we're winnin', it's there. And when we're losin', it's there.

Bravo Zulu - J.J. Watt

100px-bravo_flag 100px-zulu_flag

(Bravo Zulu is a naval signal, conveyed by flag hoist or vocal, for "Well Done")

J.J. Watt had another great game as he collected 2 sacks, 1 pass defended, and 6 tackles.  He also tied Mario Williams for the most sacks in franchise history.

The Mothership reported this on Watt's performance:

Watt's second sack tied him with Mario Williams as the franchise's all-time leader in that category. Those two both have 53 in their career. Watt did it in 62 games, while Williams accomplished the feat in 82.

It was also the fifth game versus an AFC South opponent where Watt had two sacks or more. He's feasted on quarterbacks in the division, as 11.5 of his 16.5 sacks have come against AFC South quarterbacks. With a game remaining against the Jaguars in Week 17, he can go a perfect six-for-six in that category.

Honorable Mention: Texans' Defense

Watt led the Texans defense through a performance that should have been good enough for Houston to win in Indy for the first time in franchise history.  The injury to QB Ryan Fitzpatrick meant that rookie QB Tom Savage would have to come into the game after having very limited snaps in practice the last few weeks.  This resulted in the offense only scoring 3 points on the day, and the Colts would go on to win their 13th-consecutive game against the Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Texans' defense held the high-powered Colts to their worst performance of the season, allowing just 17 points, 278 total yards and only 80 yards in the second half.  Andrew Luck and the Colts were limited in converting only 2 out of 12 third-downs in this game!

John Harris reported this from The Mothership:

Overall, the defense played as well as could be expected. It held the best offense in the league to 17 points, the least amount of points the Colts scored all season long, and well under 300 yards. DE JJ Watt was again the best football player on the planet. He had two sacks, drew a key holding penalty (one of what should’ve been about three or four holding calls), knocked down a pass and was a menace in the run game as well. Furthermore, as I noted earlier, the secondary was outstanding for much of the game.

Stories From The Brig

Again we find ourselves wondering how much influence officiating has in determining the outcome of any game.  There were questionable calls and no-calls throughout the game.  In the end, the Texans lost this game because the starting quarterback was injured.  I'll leave it at that and move along.

Movie Quote II (a/k/a the hint)

Being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It's not about winning. It's about you and your relationship with yourself, your family and your friends. Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn't let them down because you told them the truth. And that truth is you did everything you could. There wasn't one more thing you could've done. Can you live in that moment as best you can, with clear eyes, and love in your heart, with joy in your heart? If you can do that gentleman - you're perfect!

Ship's Galley

Hot Buttered Rum!

G13drink_zps9f338ad9_medium

The Texans' hopes of making the playoffs were most likely snuffed out as Fitzpatrick was being fitted with an air cast in this latest loss to the Colts.  Even if they somehow manage to sneak their way in by some unforeseen turn of events the next two weeks, it isn't likely that they will get far in postseason competition.  Reality is setting in that 2014 is all but over for Houston.

#WinterIsHere

Here's a drink to warm you up anytime things get cold as winter sets in.

2 sugar cubes (or equivalent raw or processed sugar or brown sugar)

2 ounces dark rum (Myers's Rum recommended) or Canadian Whiskey (Crown Royal recommended)

1 teaspoon butter

1 cup very hot water

In a mug, dissolve the sugar in a little hot water, then add the rum and unsalted butter. Fill the mug with hot water and sprinkle a little nutmeg on top (optional).  Garnish with a cinnamon stick (optional).

You can substitute cider for the water and add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and clove mixture.

On The Horizon...

The Texans will close out the 2014 regular season with two home games.  The first is this Sunday against the Ravens, where Gary Kubiak and Case Keenum will be reunited across the field from one another at NRG Stadium.  The final game will be against the Jaguars, where both teams will likely spend more time game planning against suffering any injuries to the NRG Turf Monster.  The offseason evaluation process for both teams is daunting enough without adding more uncertainty to the rosters.

I do hope we beat the Ravens and Jaguars to finish strong.  Go Texans!

Last week's Captain's Log: Game 13 v. Colts