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The Captain's Log 2015, Game 15: "No Fly Zone" (Texans v. Titans)

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Capt Ron chronicles the Texans' complete domination of the Titans in Tennessee and reviews the latest from around the AFC South. Join the conversation at Battle Red Blog.

Texans enforcing the "No Fly Zone!"
Texans enforcing the "No Fly Zone!"
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Your Houston Texans absolutely destroyed the Tennessee Titans 34-6.  If you remove the 4th-quarter "garbage-time" numbers against Houston's backup players, the Titans were held to 105 yards of total offense.  It was complete domination of a really bad football team.

Let's review the final tally...

Summary of Key Stats

TEXANS TITANS
First Downs 19 13
Net Rushing Yards 128 30
Net Passing Yards 202 227
Total Net Yards 330 257
Passing ATT-COMP-TD-INT 15/24-2-0 (Weeden) 17/30-1-1 (Mettenberger)
Passing ATT-COMP-TD-INT 1/2-0-0 (Daniels) n/a
Third Down Efficiency 7/16 (43%) 4/16 (25%)
Touchdowns 4 1
Field Goals (made/attempted) 2 / 2 0 / 0
Extra Points  (made/attempted) 4 / 4 0 / 1
Kicking  (made/attempted) 4 / 4 0 / 0
Two Point Conversions  (made/attempted) 0 / 0 0 / 1
Fumbles / Lost 1 / 1 3 / 3
Turnovers (lost) 1 4
Penalties (QTY / Yards) 4 - 28 4 - 43
Sacks (defense) 1 1
Interceptions (defense) 1 0
Fumbles Recovered (defense) 3 1
Time of Possession 36:13 23:47
Red Zone Efficiency 3/5 (60%) 1/2 (50%)
Goal To Go Efficiency 1/1 (100%) 1/2 (50%)
Points From Turnovers 17 0
FINAL SCORE 34 6

Around the AFC South...

The Colts (7-8)

The Colts stay alive this week with incredibly thin playoff hopes after defeating the Dolphins (5-10) in an 18-12 win in Miami.  They play the Titans at home in Indy for the final game of the regular season, and they are in serious trouble at quarterback, as Matt Hasselbeck suffered a Grade 1 sprain to his throwing shoulder and Charlie Whitehurst was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.  Andrew Luck is still sidelined as he recovers from a lacerated kidney, so the Colts will likely turn to Stephen Morris to be their signal caller.  Morris was signed off the Eagles' practice squad one week ago.

This article from Battle Red Blog and this article from NFL.com list what needs to happen for the Colts to make the playoffs:

The Colts remain mathematically alive to make the playoffs. That's pretty good news, right? But here's the bad news, and yeah, it's pretty bad: There is no freaking way the Colts will make the playoffs.

The Texans' win on Sunday against the Titans gives Houston at least a tie in each of the first five tiebreakers, according to ESPN.com. The Colts need to tie the fifth tiebreaker -- strength of victory -- then come out on top in the sixth tiebreaker, strength of schedule.

So how does that happen? Well, nine separate things need to break Indy's way to save the season. Nine! Here's what has to happen:

1 Colts win over Titans

2 Jaguars win over Texans

3 Broncos win over Bengals in Week 16  UPDATE: Done!

4 Ravens win over Bengals in Week 17

5 Bills win over Jets

6 Falcons win over Saints

7 Broncos win over Chargers

8 Dolphins win over Patriots

9 Steelers win over Browns

10 Raiders win over Chiefs

According to ESPN, there was a 0.03 percent chance of all this falling theColts' way -- 3,326-to-1 odds -- prior to the Broncos' win Monday. These are bad odds.

"I had some pretty crazy odds a couple years back," said coach Chuck Pagano, referring to hisrecovery from acute promyelocytic leukemia in 2012.

The Colts' situation doesn't look good, but lest we forget this is the same franchise that somehow went directly from Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck at quarterback. There's a reason the team's logo is a horseshoe.

Just kidding, the Colts are screwed.

The Jaguars (5-10)

The Jags lost 38-27 to the Saints (6-9) in New Orleans.  They next head to Houston to attempt to spoil the Texans' rights to claim the title of the AFC South.

The Titans (3-12)

There is no team in the NFL worse than Tennessee.  They were properly pummeled by Houston, and now head to Indianapolis to face a desperate Colts team that is hanging on to playoff hopes by a thread.

Sick Bay

"I'm a doctor, not some tie-breaker analyst."

INJURY STATUS v. TITANS

QB Brian Hoyer: Concussion (final stage of protocol).

WR Cecil Shorts III: Hamstring.

UPDATE POST-GAME

LB  Jadeveon Clowney : Foot (day-to-day).

CB Charles James: Foot (fractured) - placed on injured reserve.

Movie Quote (name it):

"Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me." Good point there. After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus. I'd still have to bum rides off people."

Bravo Zulu - Kareem Jackson

100px-bravo_flag 100px-zulu_flag

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

Kareem Jackson opened the game with a thunderous hit to cause Antonio Andrews to fumble the ball, which was then immediately returned for a touchdown by Quintin Demps.  This was the primary ignition to set the inferno ablaze for the rest of the game for the Houston Texans.  Kareem finished the day with 1 forced fumble, 1 pass defended, and 5 tackles.  After sitting through part of the final quarter with the other starters, he was called back into action after A.J. Bouye and Charles James were injured.

Honorable Mention

Brandon Weeden has done an outstanding job at quarterback in limited time to get up to speed with this offense.  When you look around the league at the teams who are struggling with backup quarterbacks forced to start due to so many injured players, it is quite commendable what Weeden has done for Houston the last couple of weeks.  In this game, Weeden passed for two touchdowns and rushed for a third.

DeAndre Hopkins' total domination over Coty Sensabaugh was incredible to watch, including his back-to-back plays in the end zone, with the last one resulting in a touchdown after a bad no-call by the official for defensive pass interference in the first effort.

Nate Washington's homecoming was capped-off with an acrobatic touchdown reception.

The entire secondary earned the "BZ" recognition this week, but I always try to find a specific individual who made the difference, which is why Kareem got the nod this week for helping to get defensive points on the board early.

Andre Hal led the team with 2 passes defended and also added 1 tackle.

Eddie Pleasant notched 1 interception, 1 pass defended and 3 tackles.

Coach O'Brien noted the improved play at safety and the entire secondary in this article from the Mothership:

"I'm going to give a game ball, one of the game balls, is going to go to the secondary," O'Brien said. "I think the secondary, when you watch the tape from yesterday, there were many, many snaps where there just really wasn't anybody open."

"The safety position has really improved in their coverage, in their communication, and in their tackling," O'Brien said. "Quintin Demps, Dre Hal, those guys, Eddie Pleasant, then the young kid went in there, (Kurtis) Drummond, and he did a nice job. There's been a lot of improvement at that position."

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

"Um, he's sick. My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious."

Liberty Call!

Brandon Weeden took a shot at Dallas Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones in this article on NFL.com :

"I mean, yeah. Absolutely. We get to play extra football and he'll be watching on his couch."

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was openly disappointed with quarterback Brandon Weeden's 0-3 stretch in Dallas after Tony Romo went down, going as far as saying that Matt Cassel would have won those games against the then-undefeated Falcons, the Saints and the Patriots.

Weeden, who is now 26 of 42 for 305 yards and three touchdowns in two appearances (one start) for the Texans, remembers this well.

When asked on an Oklahoma radio station if guiding the Texans into the playoffs was "extra satisfying because of what Jerry said, to see the Cowboys completely just turn into a dumpster fire if you're in the playoffs?"

Weeden's response on 107.7 FM: "I mean, yeah. Absolutely. We get to play extra football and he'll be watching on his couch. That's what it's all about. We're playing for something and this is a fun time of the year."

Weeden went on to say some nice things about a Texans locker room that seems like a destination for second-chance players.

"Obviously a lot of guys here got my back," he said. "Nate Washington said some really nice things after last week's win, which I really appreciated. Everybody here has got my back. They understand how the league works. I think they were just as shocked as I was with some of the things that maybe Jerry or whoever was saying. It was kind of one of those things. Like I said, everybody here has my back. When it's all said and done, that's really all that matters."

There's definitely a side of Weeden that we didn't know, or at least didn't bother to try and find out before he was thrust back into the spotlight this year. The former first-round pick didn't have it easy in Cleveland -- who does? -- and was forced into an equally difficult situation in Dallas.

Though Texans starter Brian Hoyer is in the final stages of concussion protocol and could very well take the field on Sunday against the Jaguars in Houston, seeing Weeden get some inner peace as a starter while in a supportive locker room setting is a positive considering what he's gone through.

Ship's Galley

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

With a lot of social opportunities this week to ring in the new year and watch football, here's a really tasty recipe that is sure to please the crowd!

It comes to us from an episode of Food Network's "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" :

"7-Spice Garlic BBQ Short Ribs"

Recipe courtesy of KoJa Kitchen LLC
Total Time: 9 hr 30 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive: 8 hr 30 min
Cook: 30 min

Yield: 4 servings
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients


Garlic Mixture:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more if needed
8 cloves garlic, minced
BBQ Marinade:
1/4 cup Asian pear puree (preferably from Korean Shingo pears)
2 heaping tablespoons Chinese yellow rock sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon shichimi togarashi (Japanese 7-spice powder)
Pinch 5-spice powder
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 inch scallion, sliced
2 pounds uncut boneless short ribs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions


For the garlic mixture: Place the oil and garlic in a shallow frying pan. Mix until combined and the oil just covers the garlic, adding more oil as necessary. Cook over medium heat until the oil begins to bubble and the garlic turns golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat and drain off the oil. Set the garlic aside and let cool.

For the BBQ marinade: Combine the pear puree, sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine, pepper, schichimi togarashi and 5-spice powder in a 2-quart saucepan and mix thoroughly with a whisk. Cook over high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Add the prepared garlic mixture, lower the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the onion and scallion. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove any excess fat and sinew from the ribs. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes and transfer to a 4-quart container.

Slowly pour the cooled BBQ marinade over the ribs and mix until thoroughly coated. Marinate the ribs in the refrigerator at least 8 hours.

Drain the ribs and onion of excess BBQ marinade through a sieve or strainer. Heat the oil in a frying pan over high heat, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the ribs and onion and cook, mixing often to prevent burning, until caramelized and cooked to desired doneness, 2 to 3 minutes for medium-rare, 3 to 5 minutes for medium. Serve on rice, bread or salad.

On The Horizon...

Houston will host the Jacksonville Jaguars with the opportunity to become the 2015 AFC South Division Champions!

GO TEXANS!!

Jaguars vs Texans coverage