KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Houston Texans got off to what seemed to be an insurmountable playoff lead, only to squander it by giving up seven consecutive touchdown drives to the Chiefs offense. There were a handful of plays that led to the turn around in the second quarter.
Here’s a look at the top three plays that hurt the Texans the most.
Fourth and one field goal
With about 11 minutes left in the second quarter, the Texans had a 21-0 lead and just forced the Chiefs to punt after three quick incomplete passes. Houston got the ball to the Kansas City 22.
The resulting drive looked like this:
- One-yard run for Carlos Hyde
- Incomplete pass to Darren Fells
- Eight-yard catch by Duke Johnson
With a fourth down and just inches to go for a first down (depending how you saw it) at the 13, the Texans had three choices - go for it, challenge the spot, kick the field goal. Bill O’Brien has been roundly criticized for taking too many timeouts in a row during his coaching career. A minute earlier at three and nine, Deshaun Watson had to burn a timeout when the Texans didn’t like the look they saw from the Chiefs defense. At fourth and one, the Texans offense wanted to go for it, with O’Brien thinking Houston got the first down. Once the team realized they didn’t, the Texans called another time out and went for the field goal.
In response, the Chiefs got a long kick return and scored nearly instantly.
The fake punt
The very next drive after going for the conservative play, the Texans called a fake punt on fourth and four at their own 31. Justin Reid caught a direct snap and got tackled short of the line to gain by Daniel Sorensen.
The Chiefs scored again 23 seconds later.
The kick return fumble
On the ensuing kickoff, Deandre Carter got hit by Sorensen and the ball popped out. Chiefs running back Darwin Thompson jumped on the ball and the Chiefs got it on Houston’s six-yard line. Three plays later, the Chiefs scored again to make it 24-21.
From that point, momentum had completely flipped and the Chiefs scored 20 more points before the Texans scored again. The Chiefs added 10 more points after that for good measure, completing a 51-7 run after falling 24-0.