Bill O’Brien on failure to call timeout in waning seconds: I screwed that up

AP

The Texans might have had enough time for a long game-tying field-goal try by Ka’imi Fairbairn on the final play if not for mismanaging the clock in the waning seconds.

After the Patriots took a 36-33 lead, the Texans took over at their own 25 with 23 seconds left. Deshaun Watson completed a 21-yard pass to DeAndre Hopkins, but no one called a timeout until only three seconds remained. It left the Texans with a Hail Mary as their only option.

“I screwed that up; that’s on me,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “When we lose, it’s look in the mirror time and we did not win the game. It’s my fault.”

The Texans would have had some 12 seconds left if they had called a timeout right away. Instead, Watson’s Hail Mary into the end zone was intercepted.

“We should have called a timeout,” O’Brien said. “Anything that happened negative in that game is on me. I’m the coach. I have to coach better. And that’s the way it will always be with me. We have to coach better. Never any finger-pointing in that locker room.”

The Texans had taken a 33-28 lead with 2:24 remaining on a Fairbairn field goal, which came on fourth-and-one from the New England 18. It left Tom Brady with too much time, needing only a field goal to win.

“I considered [going for] it, but I felt like at that time, make it a touchdown game was probably the best decision for the team,” O’Brien said. “It didn’t work out that way. You can’t kick field goals in the red area, and we had too many field goals down there. And you can’t leave time on the clock. Tough guy to defend. He’s done it a long time.”

17 responses to “Bill O’Brien on failure to call timeout in waning seconds: I screwed that up

  1. I read a Texan fans post earlier in the week saying the game would be close but O’Brien would screw this one up in spectacular fashion. Lolzzz….

  2. The Patriots needed a TD to win not a FG (paragraph 6). The delay cost them about 9 seconds which could have produced some yardage, but only toward the sideline. This isn’t exactly a game losing call.

  3. It always amazes me how teams constantly mismanage the game clock, and time outs. This is but another example of how teams lose games they otherwise could win or be more competitive. You don’t often see NE mismanaging the game clock and timeouts. Follow NE’s example. It’s not rocket science that they’re so successful.

  4. O’Brien’s failure to call timeout with 12 seconds to play was baffling.

    But his decision to kick the FG on 4th and 1 when up 30-28 was the obvious and intelligent play there. And yet I see people criticizing BOB for “coaching scared” and not going for it in that situation. I guess those people aren’t good at math.

  5. A bonehead move for not having the players all on the same page and aware of the situation. You could see Watson jogging up the field looking at the sideline like, “Spike it, or take the timeout?” To be fair, he (and perhaps others) were calling for the timeout with at least 12 sec. left, but the clock ran all the way down to 2 or 3 before it stopped.

    Compare that with the Patriots who last week were able to get the offense off the field and special teams on the field in just over 20 seconds to execute a FG, and you can see the difference between Belichick and his O’Brien.

  6. I find it refreshing that an NFL coach can admit he made a mistake under pressure. They’re human, not infallible.They can learn from their mistakes, like everone else. It’s better than the usual coachspeak, where they imply no fans or media members could possibly begin to understand the rocket science of pro FB strategy.

  7. The Texans had taken a 33-28 lead with 2:24 remaining on a Fairbairn field goal, which came on fourth-and-one from the New England 18. It left Tom Brady with too much time, needing only a field goal to win.
    ________________________

    Uhh, 33-28 best check your math on that ‘needing only a field goal to win.’
    I was sitting there yelling “Why aren’t they taking the timeout?” but in reality they would have saved maybe 7-8 seconds, it still would have been a Nail Mary situation.

    On the plus side, Houston has found the QB they have been searching for all this time. Watson is leegit.

  8. I said it at the time and I stand by it. With one yard to close the game out, O’Brien chose instead to extend the game and kick the ball to the greatest QB of all time, and he paid for it. Maybe it’s the right call by the book, but at some point you have to consider who the other guy is. I guarantee the Patriots defensive staff was very pleased to see the FG unit trot out ere on 4th and a yard.

  9. Regardless it was a great game. With a little better coaching we would have won. BUT the O-LINE gave plenty of time to throw most of the time so maybe now we can stop talking about any players that have not reported and are not part of this great TEAM! Proud of every player, not so proud of white house comments.

  10. tedmurph says:
    September 24, 2017 at 7:23 pm
    I find it refreshing that an NFL coach can admit he made a mistake under pressure. They’re human, not infallible.They can learn from their mistakes, like everone else. It’s better than the usual coachspeak, where they imply no fans or media members could possibly begin to understand the rocket science of pro FB strategy.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Don’t find it refreshing. He says that same thing every time. “That’s on me” will be on his head stone.

    It was so obvious to call a timeout, it makes you wonder if he’s qualified to be an HC.

  11. But his decision to kick the FG on 4th and 1 when up 30-28 was the obvious and intelligent play there.

    No way. 4th and 1 is >50% and may put the game away, not to mention the offense had been relatively successful in the game. Giving a HOF QB with *4 TDs already* the chance to beat you was a poor decision.

    Road underdogs should try to WIN, not avoid losing.

  12. I don’t get why so many people fail to understand probabilities.

    Texans had the chance to likely put the game away by converting a 4th and 1 – typically 50+% success rate – with an offense that moved the ball ALL game.

    Patriots had already scored 4 TDs without using 4th down. Brady is at home, with a superior team, using all 4 downs (i.e. not punting). You go for it, all day long.

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