Bill O’Brien makes confusing 4th down decisions against Chiefs
The Texans jumped out to a huge lead over the Chiefs in the first half on Sunday, but Kansas City was able to take back some momentum in the second quarter after a couple of controversial decisions from Houston head coach Bill O’Brien.
The first came when the Texans had 4th-and-1 at the Kansas City 13-yard line. Houston was leading 21-0 at the time, and they appeared like they were going to go for it to really put the pressure on the Chiefs. Instead, O’Brien opted to kick a field goal to take a 24-0 lead after calling a timeout.
O’Brien obviously wanted to put the points on the board rather than risk getting stuffed and breathing life into the Chiefs, but the decision was highly criticized. Kansas City quickly got on the board with a four-play touchdown drive on their ensuing possession that took just 1:27. That was the first sign of trouble for the Texans.
Things got worse from there. On Houston’s next possession, O’Brien called for a very risky fake punt on 4th-and-4 from his own 31-yard line. The Texans were unable to convert, which gave the Chiefs outstanding field position.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) January 12, 2020
The Chiefs then scored on that possession, but they weren’t done there. Houston fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Kansas City scored again to cut the lead to 24-21.
Whether you agree with the calls from O’Brien or not, there’s no doubt the results lit a fire under the Chiefs. They went on to score three touchdowns in a matter of minutes after it appeared they were on their way to being blown out at home, especially after some of the horrific mistakes they made early in the game. If the Texans lose, O’Brien’s decisions will be heavily scrutinized.