O'Brien's clock management as well as penalties are a topic of discussion after the Indy loss

Did O'Brien really botch the clock?

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3 Headlines 2 Questions 1 Bet as the Texans try to rebound from the Colts loss and get ready for the Raiders:

Penalty problems abound

Here are the defensive penalties by down, distance, and the Colts eventual result on that drive.

1a. 3rd and 15 - Defensive Holding (Joseph) - Turnover on Downs

1b. 2nd and 4 - Neutral Zone Infraction (Watt) - Turnover on Downs

This drive really didn't cost the Texans too much in way of field position thanks to their defense stuffing the Colts on their fourth down try.


2a. 1st and 10 - Defensive Holding (Gaines) - Offset by Colts Penalty

2b. 3rd and 11 - Defensive Holding (Crossen) - Touchdown

2c. 3rd and 12 - Unnecessary Roughness (McKinney) - Touchdown

2d. 1st and G - Defensive Holding - Touchdown

This drive went from a Colts punt to a Colts field goal to a Colts touchdown thanks to the penalties. This one hurts as it goes from a five point Colts lead to a 12 point lead after burning half a quarter of clock as well.

The McKinney penalty is the one that makes no sense whatsoever. It was just a momentary lack of focus it seems. Not going to crush the fifth cornerback too bad for a defensive holding. The Texans had plenty of chances between that penalty and the touchdown to stop the Colts.

Officiating Watson

Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts

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The officials have to give Deshaun Watson more credit than they did on Sunday. It isn't right they called the whistle early on the Texans but, also, I understand that's how the rule is executed.

The grasp, to me, has always been more about the upper body than lower body. Quarterbacks, and Aaron Rodgers does this a lot, give themselves up when their lower body is grabbed. It's unfortunate the whistle got blown, especially when Watson was able to still make a play.

Bill O'Brien wasn't in the mood to talk about the officiating, and rightfully so he would probably get fined. He did mention they would reach out to New York for clarification though.

I understand the spirit of the rule, but the application of it needs to be better by the NFL.

It wasn't always going to be clean

The Texans finally allowed a sack and regular pressure again. Some would say, it's fun while it lasted, but this is closer to an anomaly than the standard. I'm not foolish enough to think Deshaun Watson will be clean every game he plays but I think the Colts deserve some credit with their scheme and attack.

Roderick Johnson had a rough day at right tackle. Pro Football Focus charged him with three pressures and a hit in the game before he left with injury. Dan Skipper, who was signed last Wednesday, filled in admirably but he has a long way to go before he is up to speed. It will be interesting to see if Johnson's injury lingers if Skipper or the newly signed Chris Clark is a factor in the future at right tackle.

Max Scharping had one of his worst games as a pro in this one. He allowed pressure that blew up the fourth and one call in the fourth quarter. Watson probably gets the first down without the pressure. He was also a problem in the run game as well. He can bounce back though, he's had some nice performances. This is just one the Colts had the advantage over him.

Did the time crunch hurt as bad as we think?

O'Brien's clock management will be heavily criticized, as it should if it ended up mattering a huge amount.

Yes, the above is true. O'Brien burned close to a minute without much reasoning or seeing how it made sense in the moment.

Monday he said he felt like since they had three timeouts they could call that timeout and make that decision. The Texans, of course, still had the two-minute warning.

I'm not sure the play goes off the right way if they don't use the timeout but it does seem like some forethought was needed in that situation. If it wasn't until the team got out on the field the thought to go for two popped up that is something that should have come up sooner.

Ultimately, they were always using two of the timeouts to stop the Colts as well as the two-minute warning. So, in reality O'Brien only cost the Texans one timeout when he used it to then decide to take the safety.

Would the one timeout have come in handy on the final drive? Of course. Could the extra minute or so of time have been useful with that timeout? Of course. Does it keep Watson from throwing the interception? Not necessarily.

Let's be real about the issue here going forward, this isn't a one-off. It is a constant mismanagement of the clock when it goes wrong and that hinders the potential success of the Texans. O'Brien needs someone to help with this. He has for a while. Anyone tasked with it currently either isn't respected by O'Brien enough for him to listen or is getting it wrong.

How long will Will Fuller be out and can Kenny Stills be the option?

UPDATE: Fuller will be out for a few

Will Fuller has a hamstring injury. Hamstring injuries feel like they almost always cost a player one game. I would expect Fuller isn't available for the game against Oakland and might even miss the London trip.

Kenny Stills has been a godsend for this offense. At first, a throw-in addition for in the Laremy Tunsil trade, Stills has been a key contributor. Stills was able to take the top off the defense with a late "go" route that O'Brien said Monday Stills called himself.

With Fuller's injury potentially lingering, it is a great time to have the veteran Stills.

I bet the Raiders are better than you think they are

Oakland stood nearly toe-to-toe with the Packers Sunday. The final score is deceiving. It wasn't until the late third quarter the wheels started to really fall off for Oakland. They were stuffed deep in the red zone after having first and goal and then Derek Carr tossed an interception that Green Bay followed up with a touchdown to essentially ice the game. The Raiders are a worthy opponent and if they don't turn the ball over, will be a physical and tough out for the Texans.​

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

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Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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