HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610) -- After the Texans fell behind 24-7 in the third quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs last week, their offense became curiously slower.
They weren’t getting to the line of scrimmage, snapped the ball late in the play clock, and seemed confused overall.
The advanced numbers spelled this out. Houston’s average seconds-per-play in the first half was 24.04, compared to 27 seconds after halftime. That second half clip ranked 18th in the league, according to Football Outsiders.
One play in particular was alarming, when the Texans failed to snap the ball before the end of the third quarter, despite having 25 seconds left to do so.
Again, the Texans were trailing 24-7 to one of the league’s best offenses at that point.
Deshaun Watson said the Texans could play faster when they’re down, but it was also important to balance the importance of keeping the Chiefs’ offense off the field, and allowing the defense to rest.
“Every game is a learning lesson so there’s different things we spoke about in the meeting about that game,” Watson said Wednesday. “But we continue to grow and figure it out. We just ran out of time. We’ve just got to continue to have a better full first half than what we did and try to keep the game a little closer.”
When Texans insider John McClain asked about the Texans’ offensive pace, specifically in the fourth quarter, head coach Bill O’Brien disagreed it was lagging.
“I thought our pace was pretty good in the fourth quarter," O'Brien said Wednesday. "We’ve got to get the play in and get the play communicated. I think we scored a couple touchdowns. Really, the game last week came down to the end of the half and the beginning of the second half. That’s where the game – we had a chance to go down there and hit a field goal. We handled that pretty well until the end of the drive at the end of the half. Then they got the ball and they went down and scored and then kicked the field goal and then they came out and scored a touchdown the first drive of the second half. When you look at all these games, like I was just saying, really the end of the half – you see the end of the half of like the Minnesota-Green Bay game.
“The end of the half of a couple other games where those scores, you can double up on scores at the end of the half and beginning of the second half. We’ve got to just to do a better job of that. But I thought our pace was pretty good throughout the game.”