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Remember when the Texans fired head coach Bill O’Brien and nobody wanted to take the job? That prompted Houston to hire 66-year-old journeyman coordinator David Culley as head coach, and on Sunday he made one of the most boneheaded decisions you’ll ever see in an NFL game.
The Texans had gained 13 yards on a 3rd-and-15, only for the Browns to be ruled offside, which would typically result in a repeat of third down. However, this is the Texans. And Culley decided to decline the penalty and bring upon a 4th-and-2.
No big deal, right? Go for a manageable fourth down in a tie ballgame. Nope, Culley elected to punt the ball, an awful decision in a huge game against a strong Cleveland team.
To think the Texans were doing their best job of avoiding the tank after trashing the Jaguars last weekend and leading the Browns at one point on Sunday. Culley seemed to get word from up top that the reason the roster was jettisoned was to get a high draft pick, not to actually try and win games.
The decision created a ripple effect on the team. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor soon afterwards suffered a hamstring injury and was replaced by 2021 2nd round pick Davis Mills, who is in place to start on Thursday.
The Browns won the game 31-21, knocking the Texans back down to reality, and Culley’s decision is a major reason why.