Last week, the Texans were given a gift touchdown against the Lions, when the officials wrongly ruled that Justin Forsett had run for an 81-yard score when he had actually gone down after just eight yards. This time, it’s the Texans’ turn to get ripped off by incompetent officials.
In the second quarter in Tennessee, Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt hit Titans running back Chris Johnson to force a fumble, and Texans defensive lineman Antonio Smith picked up the loose ball and started racing toward the end zone. Although Titans quarterback Jake Locker was chasing after Smith and might have been able to bring him down, it looked like Smith had a good shot at scoring a touchdown.
And then, inexplicably, the officials blew the play dead. For some reason, the officials seemed to think that Smith had been down when he recovered the football, even though he clearly hadn’t been. The Texans were given the ball at the spot where Smith recovered, but if not for the bad call they probably would have had a touchdown.
Texans coach Gary Kubiak was shown on the sideline with his red flag in his hand, suggesting that he briefly considered making the same mistake that Lions coach Jim Schwartz made when he threw his flag on Forsett’s “touchdown.” But Kubiak wisely didn’t throw the flag, which would have resulted in a 15-yard penalty because fumbles are automatically reviewed, just as touchdowns are.
In the end, the bad call wasn’t particularly costly for the Texans, who had a 14-3 lead at the time of the fumble and increased the lead to 21-3 shortly after. So unlike the bad call that helped the Texans last week, this week’s bad call probably won’t have any effect on who wins the game.