What a game! The Texans are seriously peaking at the right time to enter the playoffs ready to do battle. I'd like to see more accuracy out of Brian Hoyer, but he's still knocking off some rust after missing a few games from his second concussion of the season. This defense is incredible! Let's get into the numbers...
Summary of Key Stats
|Net Rushing Yards||32||160|
|Net Passing Yards||183||242|
|Total Net Yards||215||402|
|Passing ATT-COMP-TD-INT||17/32-0-2 (Bortles)||25/40-1-1 (Hoyer)|
|Third Down Efficiency||1/12 (8%)||8/17 (47%)|
|Field Goals (made/attempted)||2 / 2||3 / 4|
|Extra Points (made/attempted)||0 / 0||3 / 3|
|Kicking (made/attempted)||0 / 0||3 / 3|
|Two Point Conversions (made/attempted)||0 / 0||0 / 0|
|Fumbles / Lost||3 / 2||1 / 0|
|Penalties (QTY / Yards)||7 - 53||9 - 55|
|Fumbles Recovered (defense)||0||2|
|Time of Possession||24:23||35:37|
|Red Zone Efficiency||0/3 (0%)||2/3 (66%)|
|Goal To Go Efficiency||0/0 (0%)||1/2 (50%)|
|Points From Turnovers||3||20|
Around the AFC South...
The Colts (8-8)
Indianapolis defeated Tennessee 30-24 to finish the season second-place in the division and miss the playoffs. Andre Johnson left Houston when he was told he would likely have a reduced role with around 40 receptions. After signing with the Colts, he finished the year with 41 receptions and no postseason opportunity.
For most of 2015, it has been speculated throughout the media that coach Chuck Pagano would be fired, but the Colts just extended him for another four years. They also extended the contract of GM Ryan Grigson.
The Colts were the preseason favorites by many so-called experts to appear in the Super Bowl, but Andrew Luck was sidelined for most of the season due to injuries. Their season ends here.
The Jaguars (5-11)
Blake Bortles was a fantasy football rock star this season, and Jacksonville has a team that seems to be coming together better than their record would suggest. They could be a contender in another season or two, but not this year.
The Titans (3-13)
Tennessee will have the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. They are an absolute mess of an organization in need of better ownership and leadership. Marcus Mariota looks like the real deal, so if they can build around him, there's a chance for them to rise from these ashes.
"I'm a doctor, not a Hall of Fame statistician."
LB Jadeveon Clowney - Foot
DE Jeoffrey Pagan - Illness
WR Cecil Shorts III - Hamstring
OT Duane Brown - Torn quadriceps: placed on injured reserve
On the rushing play he was injured, Duane Brown pulled from his left tackle position and crossed the formation to the right and blew open the biggest hole I've seen all season in a violent collision. His right quadriceps was torn and his leg buckled when he tried to stand up, so he was carted away to a standing ovation by fans after the entire Texans' bench met him mid-field. Brown is the heart and soul of the offensive line, and he is the most tenured Houston Texan. He'll train hard and come back as strong as ever. Get well soon!
Movie Quote (name it):
"Think about it: so many years up there - alone, silent - building momentum until it chose to make its mark on Earth... a huge unstoppable force."
Bravo Zulu - J.J. Watt
(Bravo Zulu is a naval signal, conveyed by flag hoist or vocal, for "Well Done")
Watt finished the day with 3 sacks, 8 tackles (3 for a loss, 2 for no gain), 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, and 2 passes defended.
He led the way for the Houston defense to achieve 8 total sacks on the day and limit the Jaguars to only 32 yards rushing. The guy is simply unstoppable. It's literally history in the making. He joins Reggie White as the only two players in NFL history to have 15+ sacks in three of their first five seasons in the league.
Watt led NFL with 17.5 sacks, 29 tackles for loss and 50 hits on QB. And he played 4 games with cast that rendered left hand useless.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) January 4, 2016
The entire defensive unit gets "honorable mention" for their outstanding performance.
How good have they been? John Harris highlighted a few points in this article on The Mothership:
Over the past three weeks, three AFC South division foes ran for 50 (Indianapolis), 30 (Tenn) and 32 yards (Jacksonville). When Bill O'Brien talked about stopping the run and that being the first thing this defense needs to do, this was why.
No one has talked about him lately, but I will. None of the last three teams have found a way to block Vince Wilfork effectively. I'm not sure that the Jaguars ever truly moved him in the run game. He's been a rarely talked about asset in this defense but that man is instrumental to this team's success stopping the run for certain.
I love watching the dynamic between Brian Cushing and Benardrick McKinney, the team's starting inside linebackers. Early in the second quarter, as soon as the Jaguars came to the line of scrimmage, Cushing got everyone aligned. Then, based on what he saw, he got McKinney's attention and then pointed at the exact spot where the ball was headed. On the snap, both linebackers sprinted to the spot and lo and behold, Cushing was 100% correct. The Jaguars ran a zone play to the McKinney's side and the former Mississippi State star made the tackle for no gain. What's interesting was that the Jaguars lined up with three tight ends to Cushing's side but Cushing pointed the opposite direction and he was dead on.
Texans were first in third down defense (28.5 percent). That's the lowest opposing percentage in the NFL since Titans (27.7) in 2003.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) January 4, 2016
During 7-2 finish, Texans def ranked first in yds (263), points (12.7), passing yards (185.8) and tied for first with 32 sacks.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) January 4, 2016
Whitney Mercilus also gets a special nod for his performance in this game, as he led the team with 3.5 sacks. He also forced 1 fumble and had 5 tackles (1 for a loss). His final tally for the regular season is 12 sacks, 2 passes defended, 1 forced fumble, and 52 tackles (9 for a loss).
Movie Quote (a/k/a the hint):
"Vodka martini. Shaken, not stirred."
Ben Jones has an endorsement deal with Fuddruckers, and he put it to good use:
T.J. Yates (@TJ_Yates) January 5, 2016
I found this hilarious!
Loud and proud on Saturday!
Let's go below deck and see what's cooking...
A friend of mine brought these over during the holidays when we had a chili cook-off. They are amazing! I think it is just what you need for your tailgating festivities on Saturday for the Texans' playoff game.
(Makes 24 servings)
12 jalapeño peppers
8 oz cream cheese
8 slices of cooked bacon- chopped
4 lbs of raw sausage (I recommend "spicy" Jimmy Deans)
Slice jalapeño into halves length-wise and remove seeds, stems and membranes. Fill the pepper with cream cheese and place bacon on top of cream cheese.
Wrap sausage around the whole pepper. Fry in a skillet with about 2TB oil until outer layer of sausage is browned and cooked through.
On the Horizon...
Chiefs vs Texans coverage