Colts lost valuable seconds as clock ran after Texans’ fumble

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The major officiating controversy on Thursday night centered on the decision not to review a fumble by Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, which the Colts claimed they recovered but the on-field officials awarded to the Texans. But that controversy overshadowed another mistake that went against the Colts at the same time.

During the period when the officials were sorting out what happened on Watson’s fumble, the game clock was running but the play clock was not. That meant the Texans got to take about 13 more seconds off the clock between plays than they should have. Those 13 seconds turned out to be important, as the Colts would have gotten the ball back if that extra time hadn’t run off the clock.

The play on which Watson fumbled was blown dead with 1:43 remaining in the fourth quarter, and the clock running. Before the next snap, the Texans called a timeout with one second remaining on the play clock and 50 seconds remaining on the game clock. That shouldn’t have been possible, as a maximum of 40 seconds should run off the clock between plays in that situation. Instead it was 53 seconds that went off the clock.

Without those 13 seconds, the Texans wouldn’t have run the final play they chose, on which Watson simply heaved the ball deep downfield on fourth down to take the remaining time off the clock. If there had been another 13 seconds on the clock, the Texans probably would have punted on fourth down, and the Colts would have gotten the ball back.

Obviously, the Colts still would have been unlikely to win the game, as they would have had time to run only one or two plays, starting deep in their own territory. But they should have had the opportunity to try, and a clock error deprived them of it.

45 responses to “Colts lost valuable seconds as clock ran after Texans’ fumble

  1. I Think I can explain the whole problem with officiating. Everything that’s being done is being done to the likeness of the 32 owners. They tell the refs and the commissioner what to do. You watch this multi-billion dollar business and you are shocked. Your jaw drops and you wonder how on earth a huge operation like the NFL could be run so poorly. Well, many of the owners, and the number keeps increasing as the years roll on, are the children or grandchildren of the original owners. The new owners aren’t the people who made the money necessary to buy a team. Many have never had to work a day in their lives. Now they own and operate the NFL, and it just goes to show you how successful these kids would be if they had to go out and their own and start their own business from scratch. These kids were born on 3rd base and think they hit a triple. In the real world, they’d get picked off 3rd base and sent back to the dugout. In their minds, the officiating is great. When they look at their bottom line, they’re making money. Since many of these kids don’t have the same passion that their fathers or grandfathers did, the product on the field doesn’t matter. They’ve never had to worry about paying a bill or having to support their families. Everything’s always been done for them. Hopefully some of these new owners that actually built their own empires will take over more control of the league operations.

  2. Maybe if all of the media personalities hadn’t sided with the refs during the ref lockout, things would’ve changed. As it is everyone banded together to maintain the status quo. Announcers have to realize they are just as responsible as the refs for the bad officiating with no punishment.

  3. As a Texans fan, I’m glad this one went our way. But this type of stuff is also the reason I haven’t bet on football in about 5 years. The officiating has gotten progressively worse, and the league refuses to do anything about it.

  4. Colts-Texans game had 120 FOOTBALL plays with 22 players on the field. Some great plays and some horrible mistakes (ie blown coverage on Hopkins TD).

    Yet on here we get 7 articles on football “lawyering” about officials that game and ZERO on actual FOOTBALL SUBSTANCE.

    Seriously, nothing about Johnathan Joseph turning back the clock on his 35 year old body? Nothing about Williams punishing runs? Nothing about Will Fuller’s 140 yard game?

  5. Like I said before, Indy will probably receive a league letter of apology.

    “Sorry that our inefficiencies helped Houston and screwed you, but please accept this lovely document suitable for framing.”

  6. Twelfth week of the season and the officiating is no better.
    Worse.
    Disgusting.
    I am so tired of Goodell. He has got to go.
    Cut the puppet’s strings.

  7. The Texans challenged an obvious PI the week prior.I think that the refs are conducting a quiet
    revolt,they have upheld some egregious calls.I think they are insulated that so many criticizes them.

  8. Not a fan of either team, but it’s clear that the refs screwed up, again. Call the game as it plays out, review what’s sposed to be reviewed, objectively enforce the rules. It shouldn’t be that difficult to work together and just get it right.

  9. Pro football has changed so much with the present commissioner. There are a lot of empty seats on game days and plenty of complaining. The TV networks see this and won’t pay for such a product in the future. I believe we can see the end.

  10. Yeah, the refs screwed up. However, blame also lies with the Colts’ coaching staff and players. No one noticed this when it happened? Did the Colts bring this to the attention of the refs at the time? It’s fashionable to bash the refs every week, and for the most part they deserve it. In this case, the Colts also need to take some responsibility.

  11. In the Chiefs/Chargers game, Mike Williams caught a deep pass with 44 seconds left and the ref blew the whistle as if he went out of bounds. He did not. ~15 seconds or more should’ve run off the clock while the Chargers ran to get set up. Instead, they didn’t need to hurry. Fortunately, Rivers thew an INT, but on that play, there should’ve been ~5-10 seconds left instead of 25. Ridiculous.

  12. Same kind of deal in Chiefs Chargers game. Less than a minute Chargers throw deep ball completed and refs call him out of bounds but he wasn’t. Chargers were out of time outs.
    Under 2 minutes Chiefs couldn’t ask for replay and almost cost them the game.

    Get a sky judge and do it now. Fans are sick of the pathetic incompetence of officiating.
    I repeat GET A SKY JUDGE AND DO IT NOW

  13. Didn’t the Texans get screwed by the refs when they played the Colts earlier this season by that “in the grasp” call when #4 threw a TD on his way down? Yes the officiating is bad but it works both ways.

  14. Wouldn’t it be nice if after the final horn sounded, the game was actually over? No critiques for several days! It’s over. It’s done. Move on.

    Oh well. This is today’s NFL…

  15. Hideous work by the officials every week. I hate to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but in the NFL’s 100th season the stories have been about everything EXCEPT football. AB, inordinate number of injuries to starting QB’s, Myles Garrett, Kaepernick (again?), poor officiating EVERY week, great plays taken off the board, interminable delays to sort plays outs, etc.

    It’s ironic, that in a celebration season, we are seeing all that is WRONG with the league. It’s OFFICIAL! The league has a huge problems with its REFEREES! Its becoming unwatchable.

  16. Earlier in the game, on a punt, didn’t this crew also get confused over offsetting penalties? It’s like they don’t even know the rules of the game they’re supposed to be officiating.

  17. m
    Colts-Texans game had 120 FOOTBALL plays with 22 players on the field. Some great plays and some horrible mistakes (ie blown coverage on Hopkins TD).

    ————-

    Sheard was clearly held on this play. Shouldn’t have been a TD.

    Regardless I don’t think anyone is blaming the refs for losing. They make mistakes but when they have an opportunity to review the play like the fumble or the pass interference in the Texans/Ravens game and still screw it up. That’s what’s frustrating.

  18. The nfl wants Deshaun Watson in the playoffs a lot more than they want Brissett. This game was 100% cooked. Hate to see this kind of thing happen.

  19. The official non review call on the Eagles Cowboys fumble was much worse. There were only five Eagles near the fumble.

  20. The problem comes from TOs and all other ways clocks can be stopped and the game-drama extension of the final 2 minutes – you don’t get it in rugby and so never see a clock mess-up.

  21. “I think I can explain the whole problem with officiating. Everything that’s being done is being done to the likeness of the 32 owners. They tell the refs and the commissioner what to do. You watch this multi-billion dollar business and you are shocked. Your jaw drops and you wonder how on earth a huge operation like the NFL could be run so poorly. Well, many of the owners, and the number keeps increasing as the years roll on, are the children or grandchildren of the original owners. The new owners aren’t the people who made the money necessary to buy a team. Many have never had to work a day in their lives. Now they own and operate the NFL, and it just goes to show you how successful these kids would be if they had to go out and their own and start their own business from scratch. These kids were born on 3rd base and think they hit a triple. In the real world, they’d get picked off 3rd base and sent back to the dugout. In their minds, the officiating is great. When they look at their bottom line, they’re making money. Since many of these kids don’t have the same passion that their fathers or grandfathers did, the product on the field doesn’t matter. They’ve never had to worry about paying a bill or having to support their families. Everything’s always been done for them. Hopefully some of these new owners that actually built their own empires will take over more control of the league operations.”

    OK Boomer! Would you also like for the owners to get off your lawn?

  22. I’m beginning to believe that it’s not incompetence but rather brilliant manipulation by the NFL. The question is never will the best team win? The question is who does the League want to win? This is becoming a case of vast consumer fraud by the NFL — one that should be investigated, given all the gambling money involved.

  23. I would compel anyone triggered by this to go back and watch the 2013 NFC Champ Game. This clock favor was given to the seawhaks over and over, while the commentators lamented about how crazy Harbaugh was going on the sideline for the very same thing.

    This game is not officiated by sanctioned refs for a reason: it’s largely rigged.

  24. Isn’t it funny how the Patriots have never once been the victim of terrible calls like this? Not one single time. Yet tesmd like the Colts and plenty of other teams get hosed like this on a regular basis.

  25. “It’s ironic, that in a celebration season, we are seeing all that is WRONG with the league. It’s OFFICIAL! The league has a huge problems with its REFEREES! Its becoming unwatchable.”

    Please stop watching if you hate the game so much. Some people just want to complain about their own imaginary problems. The NFL is producing more exciting games and more excellent players than ever before.

  26. johnodocks says:
    November 23, 2019 at 10:29 am
    Earlier in the game, on a punt, didn’t this crew also get confused over offsetting penalties? It’s like they don’t even know the rules of the game they’re supposed to be officiating.

    —————-

    Actually they knew the rule but they lacked common sense (not surprising) in assuming the Colts wanted to take the penalty instead of letting Houston punt again.

    When they’re offsetting penalties on a kick the receiving team can elect to enforce their penalty and not force a re-kick. For example if it was a terrible punt and the Colts ended up with the ball at their own 40 the Colts would’ve taken their 10 yard penalty and the ball is moved back to the 30 vs a re-kick. In the game the ball was at the 13 so the Colts elected a re-kick vs a penalty half the distance to the goal.

    So the refs knew the rule but lacked common sense

  27. “When they’re offsetting penalties on a kick the receiving team can elect to enforce their penalty and not force a re-kick. For example if it was a terrible punt and the Colts ended up with the ball at their own 40 the Colts would’ve taken their 10 yard penalty and the ball is moved back to the 30 vs a re-kick. In the game the ball was at the 13 so the Colts elected a re-kick vs a penalty half the distance to the goal.”

    This is absolutely incorrect. Neither team is allowed to waive their own penalty in order to accept another in an offsetting penalty situation. Likewise, certainly no team is allowed to accept a penalty against itself.

  28. Endlessly discussing a play with no evidence of a Colt recovery as if it was the reason they lost while totally ignoring the fact that they didn’t even bother to cover Hopkins running down the middle of the field.

  29. The Patriots have definitely gotten hosed many times. It’s just not as big of a deal because they’re so great. The refs blew their whistles in the middle of a live play in one Bills vs. Patriots game in 2015. Remember that Tuck Rule? The same rule was used against the Patriots in 2001 while playing the Jets. Instead of finishing 12-4, they ended up 11-5. Brady was knocked down 23 times against Denver in the 2015 AFC championship game and there were no roughing the passer calls.

    How about the Eagles’ Philly Special play in Super Bowl LII? It was clearly an illegal formation. Not to mention, Harbaugh cried to the league about changing a rule in the rulebook about players checking in as eligible receivers after their 2014 divisional round loss to the Patriots. How about the awful 1976 roughing the passer call in the closing seconds of their playoff loss to the Raiders? There are many more examples.

  30. Patriot clowns having to reach back to 1976 to whine and cry about a bad call proves my point. The Patriots are the most protected team in sports history. Kraft’s best friend goodells protects them at all costs

  31. Another Texans win with the help of the refs … huh. Remember the Raiders … they were never ahead until the refs took over and helped the Texans get the lead. The Raiders got the ball back and were moving down to at least tie the game Texans 33 yd when the refs decided not to call PI and instead moved the Raiders back.
    Vegas must love the Texans.

  32. thermanmerman99 says:
    November 23, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    The Patriots are the most protected team in sports history. Kraft’s best friend goodells protects them at all costs
    ————————————————————————————–
    Let’s see – Goodell suspends the QB and docks draft picks with no evidence, then conducts rigorous in-season testing of ball inflation to prove their case and refuses to reveal any of the results. Sure sounds like they protected NE in that case.

    But I do not blame you for these occasional irrational blow ups – it has to be unbearable to root for the Colts.

  33. thermanmerman99 says:
    November 23, 2019 at 11:52 am
    Isn’t it funny how the Patriots have never once been the victim of terrible calls like this? Not one single time. Yet tesmd like the Colts and plenty of other teams get hosed like this on a regular basis.

    —————

    You cant be serious. Every team gets hosed at some point or other. You just don’t retain the ones you approved of is all. Its called homer goggles and there are a million more pairs not just yours.

  34. The level of incompetence has passed the threshold for being legitimate and valid human error. They cant possibly be this bad without actively engaging, as its clearly gotten worse over the last several years

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