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The Captain's Log 2017, Game 5: "Heroes—Two Fall, Two Rise”

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Capt Ron chronicles the Texans' recent loss to the Chiefs before reviewing the latest from around the AFC South.  Join the conversation at Battle Red Blog.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

I apologize for this coming out later in the week than intended. It’s been rough.

There honestly are no words to describe the impact of losing J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus for the season. If not for the rise of one Deshaun Watson, we’d probably begin draft talk around here. However, the offense is able to put up points against good defenses, and hopefully a “next man up” scenario proves effective to shore up the injury-riddled defense.

Thankfully the Texans host the 0-5 Browns next and then enter the bye week. That should give them some time to regroup and get newly signed players up to speed before heading to Seattle.

Deep breaths, Texans fans. We’ve been through this before, and we will make it through this season too.

GO TEXANS!

Summary of Key Stats (Game 5):

Around the AFC South...

The Jaguars (3-2 / 1-1)

Jacksonville has led the division for five consecutive weeks to open the 2017 season, but they continue to baffle everyone week to week with their Jekyll-and-Hyde-like inconsistencies. They blew out Houston 29-7, then collapsed against the Titans 37-16, then blew out the Ravens 44-7, then lost to the Jets 23-20, and last week dismantled the Steelers 30-9. This week they host the Rams (3-2), and who knows what will happen.

The Titans (2-3 / 1-1)

Tennessee lost 16-10 in Miami (2-2) and now hosts the Colts on Monday Night Football. Go meteor/sinkhole!!

The Colts (2-3 / 0-0)

Indy just edged the 49ers (0-5) in a 23-26 tilt and now they will head to Tennessee for their first division game of the season.

Sick Bay

"Dammit! I'm a doctor, not a special teams whisperer!"

INJURY STATUS:

CB – Kevin Johnson (knee) - Expected back after the bye week?

INJURED RESERVE:

DE - J.J. Watt (knee) - It’s worth noting that his surgery was successful, and there was no ligament damage.

LB - Whitney Mercilus (chest)

TE – C.J. Fiedorowicz (concussion)

RB - Tyler Ervin (knee)

Movie Quote (name it):

“No, he didn't help me out, he didn't help me out. No, he didn't help me out! Know what he did do? He put on bunny slippers, shot at me and then cooked me some chicken.”

Bravo Zulu – Deshaun Watson & Will Fuller

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

DESHAUN WATSON

His cleats from the Week 4 game against the Titans are now on display in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The young quarterback continues to impress and tied an NFL rookie record with 5 passing touchdowns in the loss to the Chiefs. That’s back-to-back weeks with scoring five touchdowns in a game. Watson has already notched 12 TDs on the season.

His focus in the pocket is incredible. Watch as he switched the ball to his left hand to avoid a strip-sack before launching a perfect 48-yard touchdown pass to Will Fuller. It’s still too early to find a real nickname for Watson, but “The Witch Doctor” should be considered, because this is some serious voodoo he’s working week in and week out.

That passing touchdown TOPPED the five best throws of the week. I recommend cranking up the audio on this one. Watson has made the top five passes of the week in two of the four games he has started. QB critics can nitpick technique and rookie mistakes all they want, but this guy just finds ways to keep beating the opponent.

Will Fuller

For a guy who missed a few games at the start of the season due to a broken clavicle suffered during camp, Fuller has exploded onto the stage with two back-to-back games of scoring two touchdowns.

Coach O’Brien offered this from The Mothership:

“He’s worked very hard in the offseason, then he got hurt and he worked very hard to get back from the injury,” head coach Bill O’Brien said Monday. “Worked very hard to get back. I mean he had a pretty significant injury there with the collarbone and I give him a lot of credit. He’s a really good route-runner, he’s worked hard in the weight room to be stronger, to improve his hands, and he’s got great speed. We’ve just got to continue to try to move him around, do different things with him, but he’s playing at a very high level.”

Well done, gentlemen!!

Stories From The Brig:

  • Special teams allowed a return for a touchdown. Had they been able to cover and tackle, Watson’s efforts to keep pace with the Chiefs’ scoring could have secured a win. HOW in the hell are we still talking about abysmal special teams for what seems like eons with this franchise?!! Whoever on the staff thought it was a good idea to punt to Tyreek Hill should just hand in their access badge and go find a job as a parking attendant.
  • The defensive secondary is, quite frankly, a joke. They can’t press with man coverage to buy time for the pass rush to be disruptive, and they can’t effectively manage zone assignments either. Receivers were running wide open throughout the game, especially on third-and-long situations. Johnathan Joseph has lost a step and keeps getting torched, and Kareem Jackson has been routinely abused. Kevin Johnson better come back soon, stay healthy, and pick up the slack because this secondary group is a chasm of suck, thanks to Rick Smith allowing A.J. Bouye to leave in free agency.
  • D’Onta Foreman’s fumble was a back-breaker turnover at a pivotal time in the game. There were concerns about this coming out of college, so hopefully Foreman works on technique to limit future issues. I am pleased that O’Brien put him back in, as Foreman ran like a man possessed in trucking through Chiefs the rest of the way.

Movie Quote II (a/k/a “The Hint)

“I married a contract killer, not Martha Stewart!”

Ship's Galley

Let’s go below decks to see what’s cooking.

It’s been a rough start to football season, especially after losing Watt and Mercilus. When things get rough, I like to head to the Florida Keys or Caribbean to do some fishing and diving. Nothing helps me to relax more than palm trees, blue water, seafood and rum.

I remember seeing this recipe by Guy Fieri, and it sounded like it would be good. Well, it’s great! It’s also easy to knock out in short order, and it’s flexible enough to be a tailgate centerpiece, appetizer, or side dish for any event. It doesn’t come with palm trees or blue water, but if you pair it with fresh mojitos and a hand-rolled cigar, you can close your eyes and pretend to be in the islands.

“HAVANA PRAWNS”

INGREDIENTS

2 ounces olive oil

2 ounces red onion, julienne

8 fresh jalapeno rings

10 (21/25 shrimp), shelled and de-veined

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 ounces dark rum

1 ounce brown sugar

DIRECTIONS

In a skillet over high heat, add olive oil, onions and jalapenos and cook until the onions are caramelized. Add the shrimp, and season with salt and pepper. Deglaze pan with rum and add brown sugar. Cook until sugar has dissolved and caramelized. Serve immediately.

Note: I add two whole Serrano peppers, a pinch of cayenne, and use Myers Rum.

ENJOY!!

On The Horizon...

Your Houston Texans (2-3/1-1) host the winless Cleveland Browns (0-5) this Sunday at NRG Stadium at noon (Central). As long as Houston has Deshaun Watson leading the offense, there’s a good chance for Houston to win. All it takes is for the special teams and defense to at least be average and not give up easy points. Thankfully the bye week looms ahead, so the Texans can leave it all on the field and then spend time regrouping with players who have had to step up to fill injury voids.

GO TEXANS!