If Bill O’Brien knew he needed to score 50, why kick a field goal?

Charean Williams

During his postgame press conference, Bill O’Brien explained his decision to run a fake punt deep in his own end while holding a 24-7 lead by saying “we felt like we needed 50 points.” The Texans actually needed 52 since the Chiefs scored 51, but who’s counting?

If that’s truly the case, then how does the Texans coach explain the decision to kick a chip-shot field goal on fourth-and-one from the Kansas City 13 on the previous possession?

“I think with any decision, you’re always – in the moment — you’re trying to make the best decision for the team,” O’Brien said Monday. “Sometimes those decisions are the right decisions, and sometimes they’re not. I think that’s the nature of coaching. I think that throughout the year, there were times where we made really good decisions. There were times where maybe the decision could’ve been better. I don’t really want to comment on one specific decision. It’s just something that we’ve got to work hard to keep improving on. I feel like we did a lot of good this year relative to some of those decisions, but there’s some things that we need to improve upon. But I think there’s a bigger picture to it relative to what you’re thinking in that moment.”

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O’Brien compounded the mistake not to go for it by calling timeout before kicking the field goal. Why? The timeout was more important than the 5 yards.

Ka'imi Fairbairn made a 31-yard field goal. What’s the difference between 31 and 36 yards for an NFL kicker?

The Texans could have used that timeout at the end of the half. Out of timeouts on their final possession, the Texans reached the Kansas 33 before Fairbairn missed a 51-yard field goal on the final play of the second quarter.

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