Texans coach David Culley made one of the strangest coaching decisions in the NFL in Week 2. He declined a defensive penalty that would have kept a Texans drive alive and proceeded to punt the ball.
To recap, the Texans had the ball on their own 38-yard line early in the second quarter and were facing a third-and-15. Browns defensive end Takkarist McKinley jumped offside on the third-down play, on which Taylor connected with Brandin Cooks for a 13-yard gain.
From there, the Texans had a couple of decisions. The team could accept the penalty and try to convert a third-and-10, or Culley could decline it and try to convert a fourth-and-2 from Cleveland’s 49-yard line.
Instead, Houston chose to unexpectedly punt. Culley admitted on Monday that his decision to do so was a mistake.
“If I had it to do all over again I would have taken the penalty. It was more out of frustration than anything,” Culley said to reporters, per ProFootballTalk. “I was a little frustrated at that time because I was thinking field position. I did not want to do anything that hurt us. … That was just out of frustration on my part because of the series we were having at that time. But if I had it to do over again, I would have taken the penalty and given our offense a chance to get the first down, which is what I should have done.”
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Certainly, it was a mistake from the first-time coach. Culley virtually sacrificed an offensive play for 29 yards of field position, as Cameron Johnston’s punt sailed into the end-zone for a touchback.
That said, the error didn’t end up affecting the Texans much. The Browns were unable to score on the ensuing drive, as the Texans intercepted Baker Mayfield. Houston scored on the following possession to take a 14-7 lead.
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Still, Culley won’t want to make that mistake again. As such, he’ll have to clean up his strategy and game plan ahead of a “Thursday Night Football” matchup against the Panthers, among some other issues Houston faced in Week 2.