4:15 p.m. ET
53 degrees, cloudy
Key Decision #1: (HOU ball, leading 7-3 / fourth-and-inches, DEN 19 / 13:41 Q2)
• Houston head coach Bill O’Brien decides to go for the first down, passing up an easy FG; the attempt fails.
• We did not like this call at all; the Texans are on the road vs. a good defense – points will be at a premium. A 10-3 lead with the defense Houston has is a good start to the game.
Key Decision #2: (DEN ball, trailing 13-10 / fourth-and-9, HOU 44 / 0:22 Q2)
• Denver head coach Vance Joseph decides to attempt a 62-yard FG; Denver misses, and Houston starts a drive on Denver’s 48-yard line with all three timeouts. The Texans proceed to connect with a FG of their own to take a 16-10 lead into halftime.
• This was a very poor decision by Vance Joseph – going into halftime trailing by three was not a terrible position, particularly since Denver would get ball to start the second half.
• Houston immediately integrated new WR Demaryius Thomas on their first drive of the game
• Houston’s defense is playing well as a unit, and is one of the better tackling teams in the league, particularly CB Kareem Jackson.
• Houston’s play-calling down the stretch was far too conservative for us. Leading 19-17 with over 5 minutes left in the game and the ball, Houston simply stopped being aggressive and it felt as if they were content to get their defense on the field to close out the game for them. This proved to be the wrong approach, as Denver did move into position for the potential game-winning FG.
• Just prior to the final FG attempt for Denver, we felt that perhaps the Broncos could have tried to squeeze out three or four more yards and make the attempt a bit closer; this might be nitpicking, however.