HOUSTON, TX - With the memory of their second place finish at Arrowhead Stadium last week deep in the past, the Texans now look to build upon some of their Week 1 successes, especially on defense. In this regard, Defensive Coordinator Anthony Weaver and Head Coach Bill O’Brien were quite pleased with some of the results.
Stated Weaver: “We did a [kitten] of job on Travis Kelce. In the past, you could carve in stone that he would get over 100 yards receiving against us. Not this time, though! Our scheme and players as part of a total team effort saw him with one of the worst performances he’s ever had against us [6 receptions for 50 yards]. In fact, I don’t think that overrated Bachelor reject even did anything against us after halftime.”
Continued the new and quite exuberant defensive coordinator, “I think we figured a way to limit Mahomes. In the past, he usually goes off against us, but in this past game, the “Super Bowl MVP” could only manage a mere 211 yards passing, way below his average against us. That’s progress!”
Noted Coach O’Brien: “I think we learned a lot from our loss back in January. It says something to the improvement of our defense that we held Kansas City to 17 fewer points than what they put up [in the Division Playoff Game]. Additionally, I thought our offensive line showed improvement from January, reducing its sacks allowed by 20%. They also yielded a 26% increase in rushing yards. Combine this with zero reported cases of COVID-19 among players and staff, and I think that we’re in business.”
However, the team won’t dwell on the past. Much like Kansas City moves on from its next-to-last-place finish against Houston, so too must the Texans now prepare for their home opener against the Baltimore Ravens. In the last matchup, back in November 2019, the then home-team Ravens allowed the Texans to rush for over 100 yards and allowed Houston to convert a fourth down, whereas the Ravens could not even muster a single fourth down conversion. The Ravens must also return to a place where, since 2011, they are winless.
There are multiple plotlines for this game. The renewal of the Deshaun Watson/Lamar Jackson duels that started in college; the Texans and Ravens jockeying for position in the AFC; the impact of COVID-19 on the course of the game; how much the echoes from the empty seats at NRG Stadium will interfere with audibles/snap counts; whether any of the players from both sides can avoid succumbing to the armadas of quite hungry mosquitoes that tend to appear around September…all of these things are significant concerns.
Yet there is also a much more profound clash, one that may actually be bigger than the game of football itself. This is the type of debate/concern that goes to the very heart of a city. Of course, we speak of the right way to cook blue crabs, along with the proper beer to consume at such a feast.
“This is no laughing matter,” noted a local seafood house owner who chose to remain anonymous for some reason, but we will honor it. “The only real way to cook a good blue crab is to BOIL THEM, incorporating a number of good southern spices. Most of my fellow chefs are partial to Cajun spices, which is fine with me, as you get that all-important flavorful kick when you consume your fresh shellfish. Also, a large boiling mechanism allows you to cook up those vegetables and get more flavor into the mixture. It is healthy and flavorful…the best of all world.”
“It should go without saying, but as you will soon see, it must be repeated, that the only proper beer to consume with your correctly boiled, crabs, is an ice-cold bottle of Shiner Bock. It really should be a bottle, but given COVID-19 inspired shortages, an aluminum can is acceptable. Honestly, it is really this simple.” chimed in Texans owner Janice McNair, no stranger to proper dining and formal etiquette.
There are those who don’t see it that way. “If you can believe it, there are some who like to [holds back retching noise] STEAM [crabs]!!! Take up an entire pot for the sole purpose of steaming those crustaceans, not allowing a single drop of water to “corrupt” the flavor? Abomination!!! Crabs are aquatic animals that require water to breathe. To these infidels, the only seasoning that matters is some combination of dirt/sand/painted salt known as “Old Bay.” What the living [kitten]?! On top of that, there are those who shun the one true and proper beer of Shiner Bock, choosing some sort of shrimp urine like National Bohemian Beer (a/k/a Natty Boh),” noted a local seafood chef who grew up in Texas, but works in a crab shack in Maryland [he spoke on anonymity due to concerns for his and his family’s safety].
As expected, the biggest adherents of this abomination against God and Nature are those from Maryland. They proclaim the superiority of the perverted notions of cooking crabs by steaming them and using vile Old Bay, only to wash that down with something called Natty Boh. “Gah, that combination of steamed crabs and Natty Boh is disgusting” lamented left tackle Laremy Tunsil probably “In fact, I felt so bad and put off by that mix of flavor when I had that a couple of days before our game [in 2019], I think it alone contributed to at least six of my false starts last year. Yuck, that was awful!!! I had to put my gas mask on to get that taste out of my soul.”
“Aw, man, the only way to eat crabs is to steam ‘em and wash ‘em down with some Natty Boh!” Baltimore Head Coach John Harbaugh noted. “Frankly, I don’t see why this is such a big deal. My brother Jim and I had this exact argument at the family dinner table one December, but to make it up to him, I sent him some right before that Super Bowl in New Orleans. After the game, he complained about a “bad taste in his mouth” and “not feeling great”, but that is his problem.” Harbaugh laughed as he brushed off some Old Bay spices from his playbook.
“Man, the Ravens players are so full of it!” hypothetically noted Whitney Mercilus. “No, seriously, they were clearly full of those steamed crabs and Natty Boh [last November]. You could smell it on them. In the first quarter, I accidentally inhaled the breath of a lineman. Dear Lord, it was like I tasted the rancid diapers of the spawn of Satan. I didn’t feel right for at least several games after that. I still get some seriously bad flashbacks. I kept trying to tell the ref that this was dangerous, but he just laughed in my face, wiping his face with a Natty Boh handkerchief and taking a snort or three of some Old Bay in a metal snuffbox.”
“This game is about more than just winning against another AFC team” perhaps exclaimed J.J. Watt. “This is about defending the honor of Houston and defending the right way to eat crabs and drink the only real beer in the world. Yeah, I grew up in Wisconsin, but [kitten] if I didn’t learn quickly about the great flavor of boiled crabs. And while I do enjoy a good beer from anywhere in the world, just get me a case or three of Shiner Bock, and I am in heaven.”
“It is a fact that blue crabs from the Gulf of Mexico have way more variety of flavors in their systems” noted some scientist we talked to at some point, we think. “The Chesapeake crabs are really overrated, and it is just a scientific fact that while the Chesapeake has an estimated 372 million, the Gulf Coast has way, way, way more.”
So when the Ravens and the Texans take the field on Sunday, it is more than just the home opener. It is more than just a battle between two teams with Super Bowl aspirations. It is also a fight for the soul of a region. It is a test to determine just who is superior, especially in the all-important world of cooking blue crabs. It is a chance to dismiss the vileness that is Old Bay. It is also the chance to affirm the superiority of Shiner Bock to whatever that crab [kitten] is they call “Natty Bo…” “Natty Bo…” “Natty…oh [kitten], we’re going to be sick!!!!
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