Taking Safety 'Was Right Decision' For Late-Game Field Position, O'Brien Says

The Texans head coach said he called a timeout so they could execute the decision

Brandon Scott
October 21, 2019 - 11:13 am

HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610) -- The Texans coaching staff made a calculated decision to give themselves a chance at a late touchdown drive.

It could have led to either tying or taking the lead in the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts, who beat the Texans 30-23 on Sunday. 

After Deshaun Watson was sacked on 3rd down from Houston’s own 4-yard line, the Texans decided to take a safety rather than punt the ball away to the Colts with excellent field position. 

Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said he called a timeout so they could execute the decision.

Thirty-two seconds ticked on the game clock between Watson getting sacked and Bryan Anger making the punt, but the decision ultimately led to Houston getting the ball back in good field position with enough time to make a late rally.

The Colts went three-and-out, punting it to the Texans’ 36-yard line.

After a pass play to tight end Jordan Akins for a first down at the Houston 48, Watson threw a pass deep intended for Keke Coutee. The pass was high and Coutee stretched out but bobbled it.

Colts linebacker Darius Leonard picked it off and the Texans’ missed their chance.

“Where we were punting from, I thought field position would make a difference,” O’Brien said Monday. “I thought Bryan was punting pretty well. So I thought a punt after the safety, he’d be able to boom it and he did. And we covered it well. Didn’t end up the way we wanted it to, but we had the ball with I think a 1:44 to go with decent field position and just didn’t get it done in the end. ...

“I think the one thing that we did there is we were able to get the timeout call to execute the decision. That ended up being two timeouts left. … We could afford to use a timeout there and we did, made the decision to do it. Wish it could’ve worked out differently but I believe it was the right decision for that time.”