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The Captain's Log 2014, Game 16: "Unstoppable"

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Capt Ron chronicles the Texans' win over the Jaguars in the last game of the 2014 season and J.J. Watt's final performance in an incredible MVP campaign.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Captain's Log Supplemental

Bill O'Brien should win NFL Coach of the Year when you consider that he led the Texans to a 9-7 record with the previous two draft classes mostly unaccounted for, with a carousel of four quarterbacks lined up under center.  On the other side of the ball, O'Brien had Romeo Crennel, Bill Kollar and Mike Vrabel guiding the defense to great effect with J.J. Watt posting an NFL MVP-worthy season.

The Texans closed out the year with two home victories, and it feels good to win!  Now we set our focus toward free agency and the 2015 NFL Draft.

GO TEXANS!

Summary of Key Stats

JAGUARS TEXANS
First Downs 13 24
Net Rushing Yards 121 123
Net Passing Yards 112 235
Total Net Yards 233 358
Passing ATT-COMP-INT 15-34-0 25-35-1
Third Down Efficiency 0/11 (0%) 10/18 (55%)
Touchdowns 2 3
Field Goals (made/attempted) 1 / 2 0 / 0
Fumbles / Lost 1 / 0 1 / 1
Turnovers (lost) 0 2
Penalties (QTY / Yards) 4 - 25 6 - 55
Sacks (defense) 3 5
Interceptions (defense) 1 0
Fumbles Recovered (defense) 1 0
Time of Possession 20:12 39:48
Red Zone Efficiency 0/1 (0%) 3/3 (100%)
Goal To Go Efficiency 0/1 (0%) 2/2 (100%)
Points From Turnovers 14 0
FINAL SCORE 17 23


The Texans' defense holding the Jaguars to no third-down conversions on 11 opportunities, and limiting them to only 233 yards of offense with a measly 20 minutes of ball control, is outstanding!

Around the AFC South...

The Colts (11-5)

Indy will host the Bengals in the Wild Card game this Sunday as the lone representative in the playoffs from our division.  They closed out the regular season on the road by defeating Tennessee 27-10.

The Jaguars (3-13)

Jacksonville put up a valiant effort at NRG Stadium, but fell short to lose 23-17 to the Texans.  The Jaguars were gifted 14 points by QB Case Keenum, who threw an interception returned for a touchdown and also fumbled at the Texans' 23-yard line, resulting in a touchdown on the very next snap by means of a trick play when QB Blake Bortles lateraled the ball to WR Cecil Shorts, who then threw a pass to RB Jordan Todman for the score.

Jacksonville will have the third overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the same position they were in for the 2014 NFL Draft.

The Titans (2-14)

As noted above, the Titans ended the season at home with a loss to the Colts.  The good news is that Tennessee will not have the first overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, as Tampa Bay earned that honor.  The bad news is that Tennessee will have the second overall pick.  We can at least hope that Marcus Mariota goes to Tampa to stay out of this division.

Sick Bay

"I'm a doctor, not an NFL MVP voter."

INJURY UPDATES THIS WEEK

The season is over, so there's no need to track injuries at this stage.  Let's just hope that everyone leaves the infirmary at full health and reports to training camp ready to go.

Movie Quote (name it):

"One day, not today, not tomorrow, not this season, probably not next season either but one day, you and I are gonna wake up and suddenly we're gonna be like every other team in every other sport where winning is everything and nothing else matters. And when that day comes, well thats, thats when we'll honor them"

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")

For the fifth time this season, Watt has earned the top "BZ" recognition in The Captain's Log series.  He easily could have collected all sixteen, as there is not a single game where he had a down performance.  The same can't be said for other NFL MVP candidates like Aaron Rodgers, who did struggle in some games.  We can save that debate for another time.

J.J. finished the day with another incredible "unstoppable" showing:

3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 safety, 6 solo tackles (2 for a loss).

His third sack of the afternoon was when he beat OT Luke Joeckel (the 2nd overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft) to sack QB Blake Bortles (the 3rd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft) in his own end zone for a safety.  That gave Watt 20.5 sacks on the season, matching his total for 2012.  Watt is now the only player in NFL history with two seasons of 20+ sacks.

Watt wraps up his MVP campaign with a combination of single-season numbers that the NFL has never seen before:

  • 20.5 sacks
  • An 80-yard interception return for a touchdown.
  • 4 forced fumbles.
  • 5 fumbles recovered, and one run back for a score.
  • 78 tackles, 29 for a loss.  This includes stopping a 2-point conversion attempt.
  • 50 QB hits.
  • 10 passes defended (sWatted).
  • 1 safety.
  • 1 blocked P.A.T.
  • 3 offensive touchdowns as a receiver.

Honorable Mention

#80

Andre Johnson really stepped up his game to close out the season.  He was in position to catch several passes that ended up off-target, including an end zone pass that sailed over his head.  'Dre finished the day with 10 receptions on 15 targets for 134 yards and 1 touchdown.  He closes the season with 85 receptions for 936 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Stories From The Brig

The season is over, so all errors are forgiven.  It's time to regroup and build the 2015 roster.

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

"When you take that field today, you've got to lay that heart on the line, men. From the souls of your feet, with every ounce of blood you've got in your body, lay it on the line until the final whistle blows. And if you do that, if you do that, we cannot lose. We may be behind on the scoreboard at the end of the game but if you play like that we cannot be defeated. Now we came here today to remember six young men and sixty-nine others who will not be on the field with you today, but they will be watching. You can bet your ass that they'll be gritting their teeth with every snap of that football. You understand me? How you play today, from this moment on is how you will be remembered. This is your opportunity to rise from these ashes and grab glory.  We are..."

Ship's Galley

As we close the books on the Texans' 2014 season, let's cap it off with a great dessert recipe.  This is a classic treat in the Gulf Coast region.  I slightly modified a recipe originally sourced by Emeril from Food Network, where I replaced his whiskey sauce with my rum sauce.  This has brought wide smiles to many friends and family, and I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients


12 to 14 cups 1-inch cubes day-old white bread, such as French or Italian
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups heavy cream
4 cups whole milk
6 large eggs
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
Confectioners' sugar, for garnish
1 recipe Rum Sauce, recipe follows

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the bread in a large bowl. Grease a 9 by 13-inch casserole dish with the remaining tablespoon of butter and set aside.

Combine the heavy cream, milk, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and raisins in a large bowl. Whisk to mix. Pour the cream mixture over the bread, and stir to combine. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.

Transfer the bread mixture to the casserole dish and bake until the center of the bread pudding is set, 50 to 60 minutes.

Garnish the bread pudding with confectioners' sugar and serve warm with warm Rum Sauce.

Hazelnut & Rum Sauce:

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3/4 cup dark rum (Myer's Rum recommended)

4 tablespoons of hazelnut liquor (Frangelico recommended)

Pinch salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

In a 1-quart saucepan set over medium heat, combine the cream, milk, and sugar. Place the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of the rum in a small mixing bowl and whisk to blend and make a slurry. Pour the slurry into the cream mixture and bring to a boil. Once the sauce begins to boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat, add the salt, and stir in the butter and the remaining 1/2 cup of rum and hazelnut liquor. Serve warm.

On The Horizon...

That's a wrap for 2014, folks.  Draft talk begins.

Last week's Captain's Log:  Game 15 v. Ravens