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The Captain's Log 2015, Game 1: "Clown Shoes"

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Capt Ron chronicles the Texans' opening day loss to the Chiefs, and reviews the latest from around the AFC South. Join the conversation at Battle Red Blog.

Thank you for being the perfect image to personify this game.
Thank you for being the perfect image to personify this game.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Normally I would craft a witty paragraph or two here to summarize the highlights of the game, but several thousand comments over the last couple of days have beaten most of the "low-lights" from this game to death.  So let's just insert what I feel is the best tweet of the week from Seth Payne and move along.

OK, one more since this was also well stated:

Summary of Key Stats

(From NFL.com)

CHIEFS TEXANS
First Downs 19 24
Net Rushing Yards 97 98
Net Passing Yards 233 298
Total Net Yards 330 396
Passing ATT-COMP-TD-INT: YDS 22/33-3-0: 243 (Smith) 18/34-1-1: 236 (Hoyer)
Passing ATT-COMP-TD-INT: YDS 8/13-1-0: 98 (Mallett)
Third Down Efficiency 3/13 (23%) 3/14 (21%)
Touchdowns 3 2
Field Goals (made/attempted) 2 / 3 2 / 2
Extra Points  (made/attempted) 3 / 3 1 / 2
Kicking  (made/attempted) 3 / 3 0 / 1
Two Point Conversions  (made/attempted) 0 / 0 1 / 1
Fumbles / Lost 1 / 0 2 / 1
Turnovers (lost) 0 2
Penalties (QTY / Yards) 2 - 25 6 - 39
Sacks (defense) 5 2
Interceptions (defense) 1 0
Fumbles Recovered (defense) 1 0
Time of Possession 35:19 24:41
Red Zone Efficiency 2/3 (66%) 2/4 (50%)
Goal To Go Efficiency 1/1 (100%) 2/2 (100%)
Points From Turnovers 14 0
FINAL SCORE 27 20


Around the AFC South...

The Titans (1-0)

The top two selections from the 2015 NFL Draft went head to head to kick off the regular season, and Marcus Mariota looked like the better of the two, finishing the day completing 13 of 16 passes for 209 yards and 4 touchdowns.  Mariota joins Fran Tarkenton as the only two players to throw for 4 touchdowns in their NFL debut.  He also had a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3, but we'll temper that with the fact that Robert Griffin III also had a perfect QBR in his first NFL game.

Another rare and interesting note is that Jameis Winston is the first quarterback since Brett Favre to have his first NFL pass intercepted and returned for a touchdown.  At this point, Winston only has one loss in college and one loss in the NFL, both to teams led by Mariota.

Tennessee stands alone at the top of the AFC South, and they stay on the road in week two as they head to Cleveland to face the Browns, who just lost to the Jets 31-10.

The Colts (0-1)

There was a lot of hype in the preseason that Indy was a Super Bowl favorite, but many of us had doubts when you look beyond Andrew Luck.  There is reportedly growing tension between coach Chuck Pagano and the front office, the offensive line is a mess, the defense is anemic, and the geriatric signings of Andre Johnson and Frank Gore look to have provided very little in Game One.  The Colts opened the season on the road against the Buffalo Bills.  Gore was limited to 31 yards on 8 carries.  Johnson hauled in 4 receptions for 24 yards, including Luck's 2-point conversion pass going through his hands.

Indy will host the (1-0) New York Jets on Monday Night Football, and they'll do it without T.Y. Hilton, who is out with a bruised knee.

The Jaguars (0-1)

Jacksonville blew their own legs off in front of their home crowd as they hosted the Carolina Panthers.  At least they have a really cool swimming pool and party deck at the stadium to keep fans entertained.  Blake Bortles was dreadful, finishing 22 of 40 for 183 yards, with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions.  One of the interceptions was returned for a touchdown, notching his fifth "pick-six" in just 14 career starts.  Yikes!

The Jaguars' party deck includes dancers and D.J.s flown up from a popular nightclub in South Beach.  Next week the (1-0) Miami Dolphins will also be flown up to Jacksonville to join in the fun after defeating Washington 17-10 in their season opener.

Sick Bay

"I'm a doctor, not a quarterbacks coach!"

INJURY STATUS THIS GAME

S - Lonnie Ballentine (DNP) Knee

UPDATED:

RB - Arian Foster (DNP) Groin

ILB - Mike Mohamed (DNP) Calf

G - Xavier Su'a-Filo (DNP) Calf

OLB - Carlos Thompson (Limited) Concussion

UPDATED POST-GAME

TE - Ryan Griffin: Sprained MCL, and expected to miss significant time.

Movie Quote (name it):

"Hey, you're making me look stupid.  Get out here, Panda Jerk!"

Bravo Zulu - J.J. Watt

100px-bravo_flag 100px-zulu_flag

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

We may need to just give Watt his own B.Z. section where we track his stats through the season.  Last year he collected this honor five times but could have qualified all sixteen times.  How did he do in the first game of 2015?  He notched 2 sacks--one without his helmet after it was ripped off by an offensive lineman--along with 9 tackles, 6 of them for a loss.  SIX tackles for a loss in one game!!! Watt has recorded a sack in six consecutive games dating back to last season, the longest streak in his career (so far).  That helmetless sack put Watt ahead of Texans' linebacker coach Mike Vrabel on the NFL's all time career sack list with 58.  He then pushed his career total to 59 sacks before the day was over.

We are truly watching history in the making.  If only we could give J.J. a complete team, he could lead to great places.

Stories From The Brig

Where do we start?  It was "clown shoes" from the first offensive play for Houston.  The offensive line was getting destroyed, DeAndre Hopkins ran the wrong route, and Brian Hoyer threw his first pass as a Houston Texan at the feet of a rookie cornerback for an interception.  Hoyer consistently held onto the ball like it was a flotation device in a stormy sea, and eventually coughed up a fumble to Justin Houston, who knifed his way into the backfield like a shark after easy prey.

Special teams was a complete disaster at every point of measurement, including only having 9 players on the field for the first punt return.  It was punctuated by kicker Randy Bullock, who answered national curiosity about which NFL kicker would be the first to miss a point after touchdown with the recently increased distance.

Even a modestly informed fan of the NFL would know that there are two players on the Chiefs' offense that have to be accounted for in running back Jamaal Charles and tight end Travis Kelce.  Charles was limited to 57 yards on 16 carries, but he was able to get lose with 46 yards from 5 receptions and scored 1 touchdown.  Kelce racked up 106 yards on 6 receptions for 2 touchdowns.  On one of those touchdowns, the Texans allowed him to go completely uncovered, and he celebrated with a wind-up and a punch of the ball as he entered the end zone.

Performances like we saw from several units of the Texans in this game is what gets coordinators and position coaches fired.

Raise your hand if you think O'Brien was mentally punching several players in the face as he watched this on the big display at the stadium.  Raise your other hand if you were doing the same.  Two hands up?  Touchdown!  Oh, wait.  Wrong team.  Carry on...

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

"Boy, that escalated quickly...I mean, that really got out of hand fast."

Ship's Galley

Let's go below deck and see what the chef has for us this week...

With so many players and coaches on the hot-seat this week, let's keep it simple and go with something to warm everyone's rear:

Stuffed Jalapenos

Note: I recommend wearing latex-free surgical gloves to avoid irritation to skin and eyes.

  • Cut the peppers in half lengthwise, and clean them and remove the seeds and membranes.
  • Stuff with sharp cheddar cheese or cream cheese (depending on your preference).
  • Wedge a "Litl' Smokies" sausage link into the center of the cheese, and wrap tightly with bacon.
  • Secure it all with a toothpick to keep things together while cooking.
  • Place on the grill and cook until bacon is crispy.

On The Horizon...

The Texans go on the road for the second game of the regular season to face the (1-0) Carolina Panthers, a team that won the Battle of the Big Cats in Jacksonville.  Let's hope that Houston can right the ship after a shaky start to 2015.  We won't know who the Texans quarterback will be until the first offensive series of the next game.  As a preventive measure, I'm going to mount Plexiglas in front of my T.V.

GO TEXANS!

Chiefs vs Texans coverage