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The Captain's Log 2015, Game 12: "Negligence" (Texans v. Bills)

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Capt Ron chronicles the Texans' loss to the Buffalo Bills and reviews the latest from around the AFC South. Join the conversation at Battle Red Blog.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

"Negligence" is best described as:

Negligence (Lat. negligentia, from neglegere, to neglect, literally "not to pick up something") is a failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in like circumstances. The area of tort law known as negligence involves harm caused by carelessness, not intentional harm.

When writing these articles after each game, it is often difficult to find a word or phrase to best fit as a title to be a generalized theme, but this time I think it fits perfectly for a number of reasons.

Negligence perfectly describes how the Texans were ill-prepared for Buffalo's game-plan of creating mismatches against Houston's areas of weakness; most notably using speed against the edge.  It's like the Texans completely forgot how screens and draws gashed them to pieces when executed perfectly by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first game of the regular season.  Clearly the Buffalo coaches picked up on this in film study and preparation.

The officials were negligent in allowing so much contact downfield that should have been flagged for pass interference.  In this example, you have pass interference and a personal foul (face mask) before the ball arrives that went uncalled.

Negligence was leaving John Simon on the field after it was obvious that he couldn't: set the edge, cover receivers, chip receivers (to slow them down), or tackle effectively.

Negligence, this time in favor of the Texans, best describes the Bills' defense failing to get lined up in time for an easy touchdown pass to Ryan Griffin.

The final dagger for Houston, who managed to tie the game at 21, was when they were negligent in the Bills' final touchdown of the game as they used the wrong scheme and lined up in Cover 4.  In an unfortunate lapse of judgement, Quintin Demps pursued tight end Matthew Mulligan at the same time John Simon failed to effectively chip tight end Charles Clay, who released into a wide open area in the middle of the field.  The result was an uncontested game-winning touchdown, as the Bills went up 27-21 (thanks to a missed extra-point).

It was only a game-winning touchdown because Brian Hoyer and the offense were completely negligent in their next series, which saw our incomplete passes, mostly due to Hoyer being off-target while under duress.  The Texans' defense held Buffalo to a field goal on the next series, but that put the game completely out of reach given the time remaining.

What's annoying is that the Texans played just well enough to actually recover from a dreadful first quarter to win that game, but made enough mistakes to ensure they lost it.  I give much respect to Rex Ryan and the Bills for opening that game with the perfect game plan to get a quick lead before Houston made adjustments, and then knifing the best fatal dagger to ensure their victory toward the end.

The good news is that the Texans can still determine their own destiny for a postseason berth, and I'm confident that they will do it.

Let's get into the numbers...

Summary of Key Stats:

TEXANS BILLS
First Downs 21 15
Net Rushing Yards 126 187
Net Passing Yards 275 203
Total Net Yards 401 390
Passing ATT-COMP-TD-INT 26/43-3-1 11/21-3-0
Third Down Efficiency 7/15 (46%) 8/16 (50%)
Touchdowns 3 4
Field Goals (made/attempted) 0 / 0 1 / 2
Extra Points  (made/attempted) 2 / 3 3 / 4
Kicking  (made/attempted) 1 / 2 3 / 4
Two Point Conversions  (made/attempted) 1 / 1 0 / 0
Fumbles / Lost 0 / 0 0 / 0
Turnovers (lost) 1 0
Penalties (QTY / Yards) 10 - 89 5 - 42
Sacks (defense) 1 2
Interceptions (defense) 0 1
Fumbles Recovered (defense) 0 0
Time of Possession 31:53 28:07
Red Zone Efficiency 3/3 (100%) 3/4 (75%)
Goal To Go Efficiency 0/0 (0%) 3/3 (100%)
Points From Turnovers 0 0
FINAL SCORE 21 30

Around the AFC South...

Last night's debacle between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins ensured that the NFC East remains the worst division in the league, but the AFC South still looks pretty pathetic too.  That's fine, because it is giving Houston the opportunity to take the division title and hopefully peak at the right time of the season for meaningful football.

The Colts (6-6)

Indy is just trolling Houston at this point.  When Houston wins, they win; when Houston loses, they lose. It's the ultimate quagmire that is coming to a head at Lucas Oil Stadium in a couple of weeks.  The Texans can certainly win the division, as pointed out in this detailed description of potential tie-breakers by Brett Kollmann, and I have confidence in the outcome.

On that note, Indy was absolutely embarrassed in a 45-10 thrashing on Sunday Night Football by the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5).  The Colts head to Jacksonville (4-8) next Sunday.

The Jaguars (4-8)

Jacksonville got into a shootout in Tennessee and lost 39-42.  Blake Bortles did his part with 332 yards passing and 5 touchdowns, but the defense couldn't stop Marcus Mariota.  The Jags will host Indy next week.

The Titans (3-9)

Tennessee finally snapped their home-game losing streak of ELEVEN games by defeating the Jaguars.  Marcus Mariota passed for 268 yards and 3 touchdowns, and also rushed for 112 yards and the game winning touchdown.  The Titans head to New York next week to play the Jets (7-5).

Sick Bay

"I'm a doctor, not a motivational speaker living in a van down by the river."

INJURY STATUS v. SAINTS

OG -  Brandon Brooks - illness.

Whew!  Another short injury list this week.  Hopefully, Brooks will be back up to speed soon!

Movie Quote (name it):

"Dude, this is a league game, this determines who enters the next round robin. Am I wrong? Am I wrong?"

Bravo Zulu - Jadeveon Clowney

100px-bravo_flag 100px-zulu_flag

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

Clowney notched the only sack for the Houston Texans against the Bills and finished the day with 3 tackles, 2 for a loss, and 1 quarterback hit.  Overall, he showed consistency and tenacity in his efforts throughout the game.

He also earned praise from coach Romeo Crennel, as pointed out by Deepi Sidhu in this article from The Mothership:

Clowney sacked Taylor at the Buffalo 11-yard line for a loss of eight yards with 13:20 remaining in the game.

"Feels good but it would have been better if we got a win," Clowney said when asked about the Texans lone sack of the day.

On Thursday, defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel said that as Clowney delved deeper into the system, his understanding of it also improved.

"That allows us to move people around," Crennel said. "He is making adjustments as far as that is concerned."

Stories From The Brig

Plan better, coach better, play better.  Let's leave it at that.

No, wait.  That's too easy.

Alfred Blue having two specialty team penalties for the exact same thing (ineligible player downfield) just made my head explode.

Let's not "hope" that John Simon is all of a sudden going to do better at holding the edge, tackling and covering.  Let's actually put a player over there who can do the damn job.  Seriously.

Brian Hoyer needs to stop holding the ball so long and stop throwing off-target so often.

Moving on...

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

"The Dude abides."

Liberty Call!

With the Patriots coming to town to play the Texans on Sunday Night Football this week, there's a natural curiosity regarding the history of some of Houston's coaches with their former experience in New England.  Take a look at this article from The Mothership that highlights how Bill O'Brien willingly took a pay cut to join the Patriots for a job that would exponentially launch his career.

I'll include this as a teaser:

In the short term, O'Brien went from the offensive coordinator post at Duke to a quality control assistant with the New England Patriots. It was a drastic slash in salary and rank. But it served as a springboard to where he is now.

"I called Colleen and said ‘We're going to take about a $150,000 pay cut here, and we're going to go to New England,'" O'Brien said of that conversation with his wife. "I heard the phone drop. Like, ‘You idiot!'"

Ship's Galley

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

This time of year you may do a lot of entertaining and/or get invited to visit others and need to come up with a good appetizer or side dish.  Look no further than this great idea brought to us from the Neely's of Food Network:

Fried Deviled Eggs

Ingredients

1 dozen eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Dash hot sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko crumbs
Parsley, for garnish
Peanut oil, for frying

Directions

Add the eggs to a large saucepan filled with cold water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let sit in the water for 14 minutes.

Peel the eggs and slice lengthwise. Remove the yolks to a bowl. Add the mayonnaise, Dijon, lemon zest, chives, hot sauce and salt and pepper. Mash the yolks together with a wooden spoon. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Fill the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites.

Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, add 1 cup of flour and season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, beat the eggs, in a third bowl, add 1 cup of panko.

Dip the eggs into the flour, then the egg and finally into the panko. Gently put the eggs into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel lined sheet tray. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.

I like to make a jalapeno ranch dip to go with these.  Give it a try!

On The Horizon...

Houston will have to shake off this loss and prepare for the biggest game on the schedule for 2015--the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium on Sunday Night Football.

GO TEXANS!!

Patriots vs Texans coverage