HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) — Why did Bill O’Brien throw it on third and fourth and goal from the one?
Because of what happened on second down, he said.
Said O’Brien of the decision after the Houston Texans 34-6 hammering by the Pittsburgh Steelers today at NRG Stadium:
“We got stuffed on the run,” O’Brien said. “We ran the ball, we got stuffed. So yeah, I guess we could’ve run it. If that didn’t work, you’d have asked me, Why didn’t that work? It’s a decision we make. It’s a split second decision. You try to make best decision for the team.”
The moment set Texans Twitter ablaze with disapproval.
Early in the second quarter. The Texans down 10-0.
First and goal. T.J. Yates throws a swing screen to Braxton Miller on first down to put the ball at the Steelers one yard line.
Second and goal. Alfred Blue takes a direct snap, and is hit in the backfield. He falls forward, for an eventual no gain.
Third and goal. Yates misses Miller on a corner route.
Fourth and goal. Yates forces it to Will Fuller. Interception.
It’s worth noting, the Texans had run the ball well to that point in the game. On that drive, Blue even busted a 43 yard run.
Also, as Mad Radio producer Landry Locker noted:
There isn’t much meaningful data on how the Texans have fared in that situation this season. They’ve faced fourth and one four times this season. They’ve run it twice, converting once. They threw it twice, and converted both — with Deshaun Watson at quarterback.
Given the matchups, there’s a case to be made for going to the air in that situation. The Texans offensive line is far and away their worst position group. The Steelers? Their secondary.
Then again, Yates has struggled this season (45.6 percent completion rate, 5.32 yards per attempt, four touchowns, two interceptions) and even in this game (7 of 16, 83 yards, 5.19 yards per attempt, one touchdown, one interception).
“I thought it was gonna be a touchdown type game,” O’Brien said. “I didn’t think we could kick field goals and win the game. So I went for it on fourth down.”