While you wouldn't think the biggest blowout of the year would provide much to discuss this week, there were a number of calls, including several on 4th down, that initially might have seemed like tough decisions until you actually thought about them. Much like a game against a first place, hated division rival on the road might have seemed like a tough match up. On to the shenanigans:
1=terrible call, 2=negative, 3=neutral, 4=positive, and 5=outstanding.
1Q. 2:11 left. 0-0. 3rd and 21. BESF 27 yard line.
Kubiak decided to take the conservative route and run a draw. With an offense that can get yardage by the chunk, as well as one that last year gave up too many long 3rd downs such as this, I generally like to give it a whirl and see what happens.
But the fact that it was early in a scoreless game on the road makes me at least think twice. As does the fact that Arian Foster gained about 15 yards, and the fact that he converted a similar 3rd and 10+ on a similar draw, I believe, just the week before.
I've gone back and forth on whether to give this a 2 or a 3, but for the sake of the good readers of this series not calling me a Kubiak homer for one week, I'll give it a 2. Barely.
2Q. 29 seconds left. 17-0 Texans. 4th and 1. BESF 11 yard line. 1 TO.
On a swing pass to Arian in the flat on 3rd and 5, the Texans came up just inches short. Normally on 4th and inches so deep in the other team's territory, whether to go for it or kick would be a decision ripe for discussion.
However, with the seconds ticking down, I don't think there is much to discuss. Even if they had called timeout immediately at 29 seconds, that would have left them with no timeouts, needing to get a first down and then finding a way to run a couple plays, all while risking a sack or tackle in bounds that would have left getting on the field for a field goal risky at best.
No, I think even our go-for-it-on-fourth-down lovers will agree this was the right decision, so much so that I can only give Kubiak a 3 for a neutral decision.
3Q. 5:12 left. 27-0 Texans. 4th and 1. BESF 36 yard line.
Another 4th and 1, and this time Kubiak goes for it. Arian takes the ball to the right and looks like he's going to get it twice, but hard charging Titans defenders hit him hard and stop him.
Again, normally this would be a play that would generate a ton of discussion. But with the score and time left, I think it's pretty much a no-brainer. A field goal would risk a block/return and at this point in the game, the three points were unnecessary. A punt would not gain a whole lot unless they pinned them deep. Might as well try.
Even though the play didn't "work" in gaining a first down, it didn't fail either in the grand scheme of things. So, was it a 2, 3, or a 4? I guess we might as well vote on this one. Ah, the apathy of a blowout win...may we have so many more.
4Q. 1:15 left. 4th and 7. BESF 34.
Interesting. Not questionable at this point in the game, and we won't even count it on our scorecard. But interesting. Kubiak goes for it on 4th and 7, running it up the middle. I wonder why he didn't just punt. Perhaps it was an attitude thing. We've been running it on you all day, so we might as well do it one more time.
On to the scorecard:
2: 1 play
3: 1 play
TBD: 1 play
2: 6 plays
3: 8 plays
4: 5 plays