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The Captain's Log 2014, Game 13: "Aquarian Foster"

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Capt Ron chronicles the Texans' latest win over the Jaguars, the 1,000 yard march of Arian Foster, and the continuation of J.J. Watt's MVP campaign.

The Jaguars' fans must all be up at the pool deck...
The Jaguars' fans must all be up at the pool deck...
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Captain's Log Supplemental

Houston started out sluggish, but they made good halftime adjustments.  The first drive of the second half consumed 8:29 and resulted in a rushing touchdown by Alfred Blue.  The Texans went on to control the clock for more than 20 minutes in the second half, while the defense limited the Jaguars to only 2 yards rushing and 73 total yards of offense.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (13 / 19, 135 yards, 1 rushing TD) and DeAndre Hopkins (4 receptions, 49 yards) were limited through much of the game once Andre Johnson (4 receptions, 17 yards) went down in the second quarter.  'Dre suffered a concussion after a brutal accidental hit to the head that initially left him unconscious.  That really highlights the depth concern for the Texans at wide receiver.

The running game took over as Foster rushed for 127 yards on 24 carries.  One of those runs was a 51-yard blast through the Jaguars defense that included one of the best stiff-arms I have ever witnessed.  The other was on 4th-and-goal, as Foster hit a wall of defenders to the right, and then bounced left for an amazing 1-yard touchdown.

It wasn't a great outing, but it was a win and we'll take it.  Now it's time to prepare for what could be one of the biggest games in franchise history up in Indianapolis.

GO TEXANS!

Summary of Key Stats


TEXANS JAGUARS
First Downs 19 17
Net Rushing Yards 173 74
Net Passing Yards 131 188
Total Net Yards 304 262
Passing ATT-COMP-INT 13 - 19 - 0 20 - 40 - 1
Third Down Efficiency 3/14 (21%) 5/15 (33%)
Touchdowns 3 1
Field Goals (made/attempted) 2 / 2 2 / 2
Fumbles / Lost 1 / 0 0 / 0
Turnovers (lost) 0 1
Penalties (QTY / Yards) 7 - 64 6 - 40
Sacks (defense) 4 2
Interceptions (defense) 1 0
Fumbles Recovered (defense) 0 0
Time of Possession 32:29 27:31
Red Zone Efficiency 3/3 (100%) 1/3 (33%)
Goal To Go Efficiency 3/3 (100%) 1/1 (100%)
Points From Turnovers 7 0
FINAL SCORE 27 13

Around the AFC South...

Colts

Notwithstanding a dismal performance from quarterback Brian Hoyer, (14 / 31, 140, 0 TD, 2 Ints) the Browns were rag-dolling the Colts in Cleveland through most of the game.  Then Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton managed to drive the field and win in the final minutes to improve to 9-4 on the season.  The Colts are currently tracking toward the 3rd Seed for the AFC playoff picture.  They host the Texans next, and they better bar the door.  O'Brien is coming, and hell's Watt's coming with him!

Titans

The Titans generously surrendered at home 36-7 to help the Giants break a 7-game losing streak.

NFL.com reports:

Tennessee (2-11) lost its seventh straight and for the 11th time in 12 games with a performance that had fans booing and even a handful wearing paper bags over their heads. This is the franchise's longest skid since losing 11 straight in 1994 as the then-Houston Oilers.

The Titans (2-11) will next host the Jets (2-11) in what should be the most farcical tilt of the season for the entire NFL.  The looser should be shipped to Antarctica to play the final two games of their year against giant penguins armed with paintball guns.

Jaguars

Jacksonville put up a semi-valiant effort in the first half of the game against Houston, but then immediately yielded to the dominance of Arian Foster and J.J. Watt.  The Jaguars (2-11) hit the road to visit the Ravens (8-5), and we'll be pulling for our AFC rivals to help knock those purple-clad fools into the Atlantic.

Sick Bay

"I'm a doctor, not a stadium pool lifeguard!"

INJURY UPDATES THIS WEEK:

Andre Johnson suffered a very scary hit in Jacksonville that initially showed him being unconscious.  He is now going through the league's well structured protocols and will be classified as "day-to-day" until further notice.

Whitney Mercilus was conspicuously missing in the second half of the game, but there's no report of an injury yet.  We'll break more news once official information is made available regarding the health of the Texans.

Movie Quote (name it):

"Yes, but there's just something about him. Something around the eyes, I don't know, reminds me of... me. No. I'm sure of it, I hate him."

"He's drunk."

"In vino veritas." (In wine is truth.)

"Age quod agis." (Do what you do best.)

"Credat Judaeus apella, non ego." (I don't believe drinking is what I do best.)

"Eventus stultorum magister." (Fools have to learn by experience.)

"In pace requiescat." (It's your funeral!)

Bravo Zulu - Arian Foster

100px-bravo_flag 100px-zulu_flag

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

Arian Foster is quirky with the media at times, but he is one incredible NFL running back. It has been a true pleasure to see him play for the Texans, and let's hope he still has a few more seasons left in him before he decides to retire.

Wikipedia states:

His name is an abbreviated form of "Aquarian," which means "water bearer," or (according to his father) "holder of knowledge."

It was a record-setting day for #23, as he broke 1,000 yards rushing this season.

The Mothership reports:

In his tenth game of the year, Arian Foster passed 1,000 yards rushing for the season with Sunday’s 100-yard performance at Jacksonville.


Foster, who needed 91 yards to reach the milestone, surpassed 1,000 in the third quarter at Jacksonville. The All-Pro running back rushed for 127 yards on 24 carries.

"A lot of us are jealous of him because of how easy he makes it look sometimes, but he’s a heck of a player and this is the time of year when we really need him," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "He’s been in there the last two weeks and that’s a good thing for our team."

Foster also reached 6,000 yards in his career on his longest play of the year, a first-quarter carry for a gain of 51 yards. He becomes just the second undrafted player in NFL history to rush for more than 6,000 yards.

"It's awesome," Foster said after the game. "Priest was one of my mentors when I first got into the league. We talked a lot and to even be mentioned in the same sentence as him is obviously a big compliment."

Foster, who has been inactive for three games this season, also added his seventh 100-yard rushing game of the season. The Texans lead the league with 37 100-yard rushing performances since 2010. Foster has contributed 32 of those 37 games.

"It's a good feeling but like I always say, especially at running back, this is just the ultimate team sport," Foster said. "It's an 11-man game that's very prevalent at running back. It's years of my teammates playing well with me."

Honorable Mention

J.J. Watt had another performance worthy of recognition with: 3 sacks (tying a career best), 4 tackles for a loss, 5 QB hits, and 1 pass defended (sWATTed down).  Just another day for an MVP candidate.

Stories From The Brig

There isn't much to criticize this week, although C.J. Fiedorowicz could have done us all a favor on that first play of the game.  Rookies!

The third down efficiency of 3 /14 is pretty lackluster to say the least.  That needs to get cleaned up, or the game in Indy will be over before it starts.

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

"Maybe poker's just not your game, Ike. I know: let's have a spelling contest."

Ship's Galley

Let's check in with the mess hall and see what's cooking...

"Playoff Winning Beef Fajitas"

Whether you are camping, tailgating, waiting in an overnight line for the next iPhone, or just entertaining guests, this is a great recipe that serves up for as big of a crowd as you like.  Wrapping seasoned grilled meat in a tortilla makes it easy to walk around with, and there's no shortage of flavor in this week's installment from the galley.

The source recipe comes from Tyler Florence of Food Nework.   As usual, I modified it slightly to meet my discreet standards of entertaining friends and family.  We just enjoyed this great meal while tailgating last Saturday prior to a high school playoff game which we won!

Ingredients


Marinade ( Mojo):
1 orange, juiced
2 limes, juiced
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 serrano peppers, seeded and chopped
3 chipolte chiles, in adobo sauce
3 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 bottle of Shiner Bock beer (or other premium amber lager)

2 1/4 pounds skirt or flank steak, trimmed of fat cut into thirds or 8-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
Lime juice, olive oil, optional
12 flour tortillas, warm
Guacamole
Salsa

Directions

Marinade ( Mojo):

In a small 2 cup measuring cup, or something similar size and shape, combine all the marinade ingredients. Using an immersion blender, puree the marinade until smooth. Transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag and add the steak, seal and shake to coat. Refrigerate the beef for 2 to 4 hours (or overnight) to tenderize and flavor the beef.

Preheat a ridged grill pan on high heat.

Drain the marinade from the beef. Lightly oil the grill or grill pan. Season liberally with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill the steak over medium-high heat and cook for 4 minutes on each side and then transfer to a cutting board and let rest. Depending on the size of your grill pan you may need to cook in batches.

Once the beef is off the grill pan and resting, add the bell peppers and onions tossed with lime juice and olive oil, if using. Grill the mixture for 7 to 8 minutes until the vegetables are just barely limp.

While the peppers and onions are cooking, heat up the tortillas. Turn any free burners on a medium low flame. Place a tortilla on each flame and let it char about 30 seconds to 1 minute, flip the tortilla and repeat on the second side. Once heated and charred remove the tortilla to a clean tea towel and wrap to keep warm. Repeat until you have warmed all of your tortillas.

You can also heat your tortillas in a microwave, lightly dampen a tea towel with some water, wrap the tortillas in the damp towel and heat in the microwave for about 1 minute. Check to see if they are warm, if not repeat the heating at 1 minute intervals until they are warm and pliable.

Thinly slice the steak against the grain on a diagonal.

To serve:

Spread some guacamole on a tortilla, top with a few slices of steak, peppers and onions, and salsa. Roll up the tortilla to enclose the filling.

May also be served with sour cream, diced tomatoes and shredded cheese.

Cooking Notes:

1. The "mojo" marinade is not as spicy as you might think, and I'd rate it a 2-3 on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being mild, and 10 being ghost pepper extreme).  The flavor is amazing!

2. I marinated overnight, and the fresh squeezed orange and lime juice really made the meat tender.

3. Always cut the meat across the grain.  If you cut with the grain, it will create chewy strips of meat that will have you fighting each bite and likely destroy the tortilla in the process.  When you cut across the grain, the meat separates easily with each bite.

4. Cook these on anything!  A charcoal grill is ideal, but we did just fine using a Coleman stove with cast-iron skillet in the middle of a parking lot.

On The Horizon...

The 7-6 Texans travel to Indianapolis to try and win there for the first time in franchise history.  We know it, the players know it, and Coach Bill O'Brien knows it:

"This game right here is a playoff game," O'Brien said. "As far as that’s concerned, as far as our team, this is a big game. A big game." - HoustonTexans.com

Last week's Captain's Log: Game 12 v. Titans