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The Captain's Log 2015, Game 14: "Endeavor" (Texans v. Colts)

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Capt Ron chronicles the Texans' historic win over the Colts in Indianapolis and reviews the latest from around the AFC South. Join the conversation at Battle Red Blog.

Looking "Strong!"
Looking "Strong!"
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It wasn't pretty, but they found a way to win.  The "next man up" narrative has become the running theme for this franchise for years, and we can now add QB Brandon Weeden to the long list of capable men who rose to the occasion for your Houston Texans.  In fact, it had me thinking of that phrase from the critically-acclaimed show Game of Thrones: "Valar dohaeris," which means "All men must serve."  It is the common response to the customary saying "Valar morghulis," which means "All men must die."

The Texans are in first place in the AFC South and control their own destiny to win the division as they prepare to face the Titans in Tennessee before ending the regular season at NRG Stadium against the Jaguars.  What a wild and crazy season this has been!

Summary of Key Stats

TEXANS COLTS
First Downs 20 14
Net Rushing Yards 155 50
Net Passing Yards 150 140
Total Net Yards 305 190
Passing ATT-COMP-TD-INT 6/10-0-1 (Yates) 17/30-1-1 (Hasselbeck)
Passing ATT-COMP-TD-INT 11/18-1-0 (Weeden) 1/2-0-0 (Whitehurst)
Third Down Efficiency 5/15 (33%) 4/13 (30%)
Touchdowns 1 1
Field Goals (made/attempted) 3 / 4 1 / 1
Extra Points  (made/attempted) 1 / 1 1 / 1
Kicking  (made/attempted) 1 / 1 1 / 1
Two Point Conversions  (made/attempted) 0 / 0 0 / 0
Fumbles / Lost 2 / 1 1 / 1
Turnovers (lost) 2 2
Penalties (QTY / Yards) 6 - 48 8 - 94
Sacks (defense) 3 3
Interceptions (defense) 1 1
Fumbles Recovered (defense) 1 1
Time of Possession 33:56 24:04
Red Zone Efficiency 1/3 (33%) 1/2 (50%)
Goal To Go Efficiency 1/2 (50%) 0/0 (0%)
Points From Turnovers 3 7
FINAL SCORE 16 10

Around the AFC South...

The Colts (6-8)

The Colts head to Miami to face the Dolphins (5-9), who anchor the bottom of the AFC East.  Let's hope Miami can rise up in front of their home crowd to put a final nail in the coffin of Indy.

The Jaguars (5-9)

The Jags fell to the Atlanta Falcons (7-7) in front of their home crowd in Jacksonville.  They head to New Orleans next week to take on the Saints (5-9).  The networks will likely still air this meaningless game to avoid any broadcasting contract disputes with the NFL.

The Titans (3-11)

The Titans lost to the Patriots (12-2) and next host your Houston Texans.  They'll do it without QB Marcus Mariotawho was lost for the rest of the year with a sprained MCL.

Sick Bay

"I'm a doctor, not some Lannister paying his debts."

INJURY STATUS v. COLTS

OUT:

QB Brian Hoyer: Concussion - Continued protocol from previous game.

DL Christian Covington: Ankle.

PLAYED WITH INJURY:

RB Alfred Blue: Back.

LB Max Bullough: Shoulder.

Quintin Demps: Groin.

TE Ryan Griffin: Ankle.

CB Kareem Jackson: Ankle.

Ben Jones: Hand.

LB Whitney Mercilus: Back.

RB Chris Polk: Knee.

DE J.J. Watt: Hand, and groin.

UPDATED POST-GAME:

QB T.J. Yates: ACL: Placed on Injured Reserve.

WR Cecil Shorts III:  Groin.

Movie Quote (name it):

"You did it!  Congratulations!  World's best cup of coffee! Great job, everybody!  It's great to be here."

Bravo Zulu - Jaelen Strong

100px-bravo_flag 100px-zulu_flag

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

The Texans' offense has needed someone not named DeAndre Hopkins to show up as a legitimate threat, and Jaelen Strong certainly did that this week with at least two critical catches.  One was a wide-reaching, tip-toe reception along the sidelines, and the other was the game-winning touchdown for Houston.

John Harris from The Mothership offered this on Jaelen's "strong" performance:

Who knew Jaelen Strong was the true Colts killer? His sideline toe-tapping catch late in the first half, that was initially ruled incomplete, led to the Texans first points of the game. Three massive key points to end the half. Then, he scored the game winning touchdown on play action in the flat. He caught the rock after crossing back over the formation and then beat all the Colts' defenders to the pylon.

So, he has four catches against the Colts in 2015 and three of them went for touchdowns. That pretty much defines effective and efficient.

And, yes, I lost my mind on his touchdown. I was standing right at the goal line. Just prior to the play, the line judge moved the orange G marker back off the field. I instinctively said "you've got plenty of room!!". I don't know why I said it, but wanted him to know he could back away from the field and not hit anyone. Well, he backed up further than I expected. I was behind the yellow line where I'm supposed to be and I just jumped in the air in excitement. But, as I did, the line judge kept moving backward, and nearly right into me, well beyond the yellow line. I escaped getting hit by a few inches.


Honorable Mention

This was truly a team effort, with an "all men must serve" attitude.  John Simon had one of his best performances with 1 sack, 3 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, and 2 QB hits.  Benardrick McKinney had an outstanding day with 7 tackles and 1 sack (nearly scoring a safety).  Whitney Mercilus also notched a sack at a critical moment.  Vince Wilfork anchored a front-seven that limited the Colts to 50 yards of rushing on the day.  Safeties Quintin Demps and Andre Hal were able to keep T.Y. Hilton under wraps, which may be the first time we have ever witnessed such a shutdown performance against that speedy receiver.

The offense finally got things clicking with Brandon Weeden under center, and the team battled their way to a victory.

Stories From The Brig

Winning for the first time in Indy erases all errors.  Moving along...

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

"Well, there are some things you should know.  First off, you see gum on the street, leave it there. It isn't free candy.

Second, there are, like, thirty Ray's Pizzas.  They all claim to be the original.  But the real one's on 11th.  And if you see a sign that says "Peep Show", that doesn't mean that they're letting you look at the new toys before Christmas."

Liberty Call!

We won!  We won!  How did you celebrate this historic win in Indy?  Please share your victory celebration in the comments below.

The Mothership showed how a few traveling fans, including the well-traveled "Debbie the Texan," responded...

Ship's Galley

Let's go below deck and see what's cooking.

"Sweet Tamales"

Last week we shared a traditional tamale recipe, so this week we are considering a sweeter dessert version.  This is a really great time to get family and friends together and make a variety of tamales that everyone can enjoy.  They freeze just fine to be served later as well.  I encourage you to consider a tamale-making session, as it will create memories that will last forever.

This recipe is brought to us by Emeril Lagasse of Food Network:

Sweet Tamales with Raisins and Spices

Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse
Total Time: 2 hr 30 min
Prep: 30 min
Cook: 2 hr

Yield:18 tamales, 6 to 8 servings


Ingredients

Banana leaves
1/2 cup rum
1/2 cup dark raisins
1/2 cup white raisins
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups masa harina
1 cup whole milk
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted

Directions

Defrost the banana leaves overnight in the refrigerator if frozen, and cut off any hard sections or sections with holes. Cut the leaves into unbroken 12-inch pieces. If the leaves are pliable, proceed with recipe. If not, steam the banana leaves in the top of a double boiler until soft and pliable, 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside until ready to assemble the tamales.

In a small saucepan, gently heat the rum. Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with the warm rum. Let the raisins soak and absorb the rum while you prepare the masa filling.

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the vegetable shortening until very light, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and half of the masa, and beat until combined. Mix the milk and coconut milk and add alternately with the remaining masa in several batches to the mixture until mixture is the consistency of medium-thick cake batter. Add baking powder, salt and cinnamon, and beat for 30 seconds. Add the melted butter and beat to incorporate, being careful not to overmix.

Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the masa batter into the center of a banana leaf. Place about 2 teaspoons of plumped raisins in the center. Fold 1 side over the batter, then the other to enclose the filling. Bring the bottom and the top over the filling to create a small package. Tie the tamale with a piece of string, and repeat with the remaining masa batter and filling.

Line a steamer insert with a layer of unused banana leaves. Lay the tamales in the lined steamer, and steam over simmering water until the tamales are cooked through and release easily from the banana leaf wrappers, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

On The Horizon...

Houston heads to Tennessee with the opportunity to become the 2015 AFC South Division Champions!

GO TEXANS!!

Parting Shot...

This latest "The Draw Play" was polarizing to say the least:

Texans vs Colts coverage
Texans vs Titans coverage