Texans coach David Culley makes good on vow to go for it on fourth down in preseason

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The Houston Texans had two instances where they were on the plus-side of the 50-yard line against the Green Bay Packers and elected to kick on fourth down.

Coach David Culley said after that Aug. 14 game the Texans would go for them throughout the rest of the preseason.

Against the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday, Culley made good on at least one of them. Facing a fourth-and-1 from the Dallas 14 with 12:49 to go in the first quarter, running back Mark Ingram took the ball for a two-yard gain up the middle. The drive concluded with Ingram rushing for a two-yard touchdown to give Houston an early 7-0 lead.

“You have to be able to win the line of scrimmage and have the mentality that you’re not going to be denied the yard,” Ingram said. “There’s a lot of will to break a tackle and get some yards. There’s a lot of will for the line to be able to knock the D-line off the ball. Everyone has to be able to execute, and everyone has to have the mentality to be physical and not to be denied a yard so you can continue the drive.”

Ingram, who was with Culley for the past two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, appreciated the mentality the coach displayed with the fourth-down decision.

“I love the aggressive mentality,” said Ingram, who finished with seven carries for 24 yards and a touchdown. “I love the identity. We have a physical identity. An identity we have faith in. We believe in each other that we’re going to get a yard. When Coach makes the call, us as players, we have to be able to go out there execute and make sure we don’t let him down, that we convert the fourth-and-one and sustain the drive.

“I love the aggressiveness. I love the mentality. I think everyone on the offense loves the challenge as well. We have to keep improving and get better.”

Late in the fourth quarter, Culley decided to send Ka’imi Fairbairn out for field goals of 38 and 24 yards.