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The Captain's Log 2015, Game 17: "Edge of Zero" (Texans v. Chiefs)

Capt Ron chronicles the Texans' devastating playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Join the conversation at Battle Red Blog.

"We did our job this season, brother."
"We did our job this season, brother."
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Texans have been in dire need of a talented franchise quarterback since the 2013 season.  They had the first pick in each round of the 2014 NFL Draft and ignored multiple opportunities to address it with players who are proving to be worthy for other NFL teams.  No, there are no guarantees on players drafted out of college, but you should at least attempt to solidify the most critical position on your team.  If there is anything good that will come from this embarrassing game, it is that the spotlight on this situation is now burning with the brightness of the Sun.

The defense is top-5 in the league.  The offense is clearly bottom-5 in the league.  Preparations for the 2016 season should be heavily weighted toward bringing in a quarterback and additional weapons at skill positions on offense.  No matter how good the defense is, the offense will keep the team on the edge of zero until Houston finds the answer at the most important position on the roster for this sport.

Summary of Key Stats:

First Downs 18 14
Net Rushing Yards 141 114
Net Passing Yards 173 112
Total Net Yards 314 226
Passing ATT-COMP-TD-INT 17/22-1-1 15/34-0-4
Third Down Efficiency 4/11 (36%) 6/14 (42%)
Touchdowns 3 0
Field Goals (made/attempted) 3 / 3 0 / 0
Extra Points (made/attempted) 3 / 3 0 / 0
Kicking (made/attempted) 3 / 3 0 / 0
Two Point Conversions (made/attempted) 0 / 0 0 / 0
Fumbles / Lost 0 / 0 2 / 1
Turnovers (lost) 1 5
Penalties (QTY / Yards) 5 - 52 4 - 29
Sacks (defense) 3 3
Interceptions (defense) 4 1
Fumbles Recovered (defense) 1 0
Time of Possession 34:25 25:35
Red Zone Efficiency 2/3 (66%) 0/1 (0%)
Goal To Go Efficiency 1/1 (100%) 0/1 (0%)
Points From Turnovers 0 0

Sick Bay

"I'm a doctor, not a quarterback whisperer."

Pregame Status:

LB Jadeveon Clowney - Foot

Post-game Update:

DE  J.J. Watt - Groin

CB  Kevin Johnson - Wrist

Movie Quote (name it):

"We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars. Now we just look down, and worry about our place in the dirt."

Bravo Zulu - Whitney Mercilus

100px-bravo_flag 100px-zulu_flag

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

Mercilus finished the day with 3 sacks and 5 tackles.  The defense did a great job for most of the game, keeping the Texans within reach to make a comeback, and Mercilus provided the brightest light until it was all but over.

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

"We've always defined ourselves by the ability to overcome the impossible. And we count these moments. These moments when we dare to aim higher, to break barriers, to reach for the stars, to make the unknown known. We count these moments as our proudest achievements. But we lost all that. Or perhaps we've just forgotten that we are still pioneers. And we've barely begun. And that our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us, because our destiny lies above us."

Liberty Call!

NFL owners are meeting at the Westin at Memorial City here in Houston today to vote on the relocation of three teams: Raiders, Chargers and Rams.  It will be interesting to see how this turns out and if the NFL will return to Los Angeles after two decades.

The University of Houston finished the year ranked #8 overall.  That's pretty cool!

Ship's Galley

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

"Moroccan Meatballs"

I have made these twice now, and they'll go into a regular rotation every few months.  These are a great flavorful meal for cooler weather and perfect for entertaining.  I paired this dish with some saffron rice and garlic bread, and I also served it as leftovers in the form of a meatball sandwich. Are you hosting or attending a Super Bowl party? Then consider this recipe from Food Network's "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives."

Side note: This recipe includes pork, which is obviously an American adaptation of the dish from Morocco, where pork wouldn't be readily included in local cuisine.


Moroccan Meatball Sauce:
1 gallon tomato sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup ground cumin
1/4 cup harissa
3 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Moroccan Meatballs:
1 gallon bread cubes, day-old, no crust
5 cups minced yellow onions
3/4 cup minced garlic
5 pounds ground chuck
5 pounds ground pork
3/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup cumin seeds, ground
1/4 cup smoked paprika
1/4 cup black peppercorns, ground
1/4 cup salt
4 teaspoons ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
10 eggs, whipped before adding
Vegetable oil


For the sauce: Mix together the tomato sauce, cilantro, cumin, harissa, paprika and cinnamon.

For the meatballs: Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Soak the bread in just enough water to cover for 1 minute. Pour into a colander and let sit for 10 minutes. Squeeze all the excess water out.

Meanwhile, gently cook the onions and garlic until translucent. Let cool, then transfer to a bowl. Add the chuck, pork, cilantro, parsley, cumin, paprika, pepper, salt, chile powder, ginger and eggs and mix thoroughly.

Portion and shape the mixture into 3 1/2-ounce balls. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large saute pan and brown the meatballs on all sides.

Transfer to a large baking dish, cover with the meatball sauce and wrap with aluminum foil. Braise the meatballs in the oven until cooked through but not dry, 20 minutes.

On the Horizon...

It's time to prepare for the 2016 season.  It's time to find that franchise quarterback and some more weapons on offense to go with that top-5 defense.  It's time for this NFL team to stop embarrassing the city of Houston and its fans on the national stage.  Perhaps this "big kick in the junk" will be the catalyst for finally doing what needs to be done.


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