We thought at the time Bill O’Brien of the Texans made a really bad coaching decision Sunday afternoon. It certainly turned out to be true. The Texans were leading the favored Rams 7 -6 when a Rams interception gave then the ball on their own 25 with a minute and 35 seconds to play. The Texans stuffed Todd Gurley for a yard loss and everybody was getting up slowly. It looked like the half was over until Bill came running down the sideline to call his second time out. We said no-no-no but he didn’t hear us.
This was a really bad choice for two reasons. First, the good outcome, given that you have only two timeouts left, was that the Texans get the ball back on their own 40 with 30 seconds left. Their offense had not been scintillating in the first half and was unlikely to be with Tom Savage as QB. They ended with 283 yards for the game. Second, the Rams are, in 2017, offensively potent. Bill was playing with fire. He got burnt as the Rams made a 50 yard field goal to take the lead and the momentum into halftime. The Rams came out in the second half and blew away the Texans with 21 points in the third quarter.
It is entirely possible that the Texans were doomed in the second half in any case. Bill was still wrong to call the time out. If you had all three time outs, a less than elite offense with the ball, and an elite offense to give it to then you might try to justify the call. The Texans were zero for three and paid the price.