The Texans snapped a 155 game streak where the New Orleans Saints have scored at least one touchdown each game. That's a ten-year streak that ended in Houston on Sunday, thanks to a defense that has really come together over the last several games.
Let's get into the numbers...
Summary of Key Stats:
|Net Rushing Yards||50||167|
|Net Passing Yards||218||195|
|Total Net Yards||268||362|
|Third Down Efficiency||3/12 (25%)||6/13 (46%)|
|Field Goals (made/attempted)||2 / 2||1 / 1|
|Extra Points (made/attempted)||0 / 0||3 / 3|
|Kicking (made/attempted)||0 / 0||3 / 3|
|Two Point Conversions (made/attempted)||0 / 0||0 / 0|
|Fumbles / Lost||1 / 0||2 / 0|
|Penalties (QTY / Yards)||10 - 82||6 - 40|
|Fumbles Recovered (defense)||0||0|
|Time of Possession||23:37||36:23|
|Red Zone Efficiency||0/3 (0%)||3/4 (75%)|
|Goal To Go Efficiency||0/0 (0%)||2/2 (100%)|
|Points From Turnovers||0||0|
Around the AFC South...
The good news is that the Texans are still neck-and-neck with the Colts for the division title, and the AFC South has quietly been replaced by the NFC East as the worst division in the league so far this year. How bad is the NFC East? I'm glad you asked. Washington is leading that smoldering heap of bad teams with a 5-6 record, followed by the New York Giants (5-6) on a two-game losing streak, the Philadelphia Eagles (4-7) on a THREE-game skid, and the Dallas Cowboys (3-8) who take up the rear.
The Colts (6-5)
Indy just won't go away. They managed to wrangle a win away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-6) to keep their edge for first place in the AFC South. Their next game is against the Steelers (6-5) in Pittsburgh on Sunday Night Football.
The Jaguars (4-7)
With the easiest remaining schedule in the entire league, Jacksonville still managed to lose a 31-25 game at home against the San Diego Chargers (3-8). They go on the road to play the division-rival Titans (2-9) next week while technicians empty and sterilize the pool and party deck. The NFL may have to get lawyers on the phone with the networks to enforce contractual fulfillment to actually air this game next Sunday. Perhaps they should call Comedy Central to see if they want to take the burden from CBS.
The Titans (2-9)
Tennessee lost their ELEVENTH consecutive home game in a 24-21 tilt against the Oakland Raiders (5-6). There's a decent chance the Titans will increment their consecutive home game losing streak to twelve when they host the division-rival Jaguars next week.
"I'm a doctor, not an NFL MVP voter."
INJURY STATUS v. SAINTS
CB - A. J. Bouye - Concussion.
Notwithstanding the players who are on injured reserve, that's a nice short injury list for once!
Movie Quote (name it):
"Hey, why don't I just go eat some hay, make things out of clay, lay by the bay? I just may! What'd ya say?"
Bravo Zulu - J.J. Watt
(Bravo Zulu is a naval signal, conveyed by flag hoist or vocal, for "Well Done")
J.J. Watt was the "AFC Defensive Player of the Week" last week, and he played even better in this game. I realize I am stating the obvious, but we are witnessing history in the making. This guy is truly special, and we need to just soak it all in while he plays through these prime years.
Watt finished the day with 2 sacks, 2 tackles for a loss and 7 hits on Drew Brees. If the NFL would change the rules to give a sack to a defensive player who has the quarterback "in the grasp" at the time of intentional grounding, then Watt would have had 3 sacks in the game.
Through the first eleven games of 2015, Watt leads the NFL in three categories with 13 1/2 sacks, 23 tackles for losses, and 40 quarterback hits.
Kareem Jackson came up huge with a key interception to ensure the Saints would not score a touchdown. What a great way to return to action.
Kevin Johnson looks more like a third-year All Pro rather than an NFL rookie. His instincts are incredible, and it is hard to imagine how much better he will get.
Johnathan Joseph is looking like his old self again, with several consecutive games of solid defensive play.
Xavier Su'a-Filo is really stepping up into that left guard position, and he's showing why the team made such a big investment in him with that 33rd-overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He blew open some huge holes for the running backs in this latest game.
DeAndre Hopkins had another outstanding performance. He moves the chains better than any wide receiver in the league.
The tight ends have arrived! C.J. Fiedorowicz and Ryan Griffin were instrumental throughout this game with big catches and critical blocks.
Stories From The Brig
I'm still scratching my head over that Brian Hoyer interception, but he did well through the rest of the game.
The offense also needs to get points from turnovers. Kareem Jackson took an interception from the goal line to the 50-yard line, and the offense ended up punting it away. Aside from that, not a whole lot to criticize from this game.
"Oh, well, now your back's gonna hurt, 'cause you just pulled landscaping duty. Anybody else's fingers hurt?... I didn't think so."
Coach Bill O'Brien gave the team Monday off as a reward for their victory over the Saints, but the players showed up and started preparing for Buffalo. This team wants to keep getting better! They are taking the usual Tuesday off as part of the regular weekly schedule.
Chocolate Bread Pudding
This treat is coming from Alton Brown of Food Network. Houston has earned a little dessert, so let's indulge!
2 large whole eggs
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup hot chocolate mix
3 cups half-and-half
1 cup whole milk
2 ounces espresso, slightly cooled
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
18 ounces stale challah bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into 1/2-inch pieces
Place the eggs and yolks in the carafe of a blender and combine on the lowest speed for 30 seconds. Slowly add the sugar over 30 seconds, and then add the hot chocolate mix and blend until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add the half-and-half, milk, espresso and vanilla and blend until well combined, about 30 seconds.
Butter a 9 by 13-inch metal pan with 1 tablespoon of the butter and place the cubed bread in the pan. Spread the chocolate on top of the bread and slowly pour in the custard. Press down on the mixture with a spatula or the back of a spoon to thoroughly saturate. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 2 hours, or refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Bake until the internal temperature reaches at least 170 degrees F, about 45 minutes. Set the oven to the high broil setting with the oven door ajar. Remove the bread pudding from the oven. Pour the remaining melted butter into a spray bottle and spritz the top of the bread pudding. Return to the middle rack and broil for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack for 15 minutes before serving.
On The Horizon...
Houston goes on the road to play the Buffalo Bills next Sunday. This should be considered a "must-win" game against an AFC opponent who could be contending for a wild card spot. Keep the winning streak going, and GO TEXANS!
Texans vs Bills coverage