In what seems to be a recurring theme for the Houston Texans the team came up with another check in the loss column. This loss, however, was not “entirely” the fault of the Texans.
With 11:14 left in the fourth quarter, down by only five points, QB Matt Schaub looked like he was leading a cavalry into battle. The team had started with the ball at their own 20 yard line and now stood only 38 yards away from another touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens.
With RB Ben Tate in the backfield Schaub took the snap, dropped back a couple of steps, and fired the ball to Tate. This is where the fairy tale turns into a nightmare…
As the ball was leaving Schaub’s hands Ravens defensive-lineman Haloti Ngata burst through the offensive line and laid the smack-down on Schaub. However, Ngata lead the tackle with his helmet. What should have been a 15-yard personal-foul penalty instead became a momentum breaking play that effectively cost the Texans the game.
Had the call been made against Ngata the Texans would have had a first down, on the Ravens 23-yard line, with more than 11:00 remaining on the clock. In effect, the Texans would have been primed to score another touchdown.
On the next play, Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard made a huge play when he stripped the ball from RB Arian Foster after he caught the pass from Schaub. The Texans ended with a fourth down and had to punt the ball away.
What had started as a well-orchestrated and fluid motion down the field ended up being a grabbled and blundered fourth quarter in which the Ravens put up 13 points. The referees had done what the Ravens had been unable to do up to that point, deflate the Texans.
When questioned about this play Schaub gave this reply,
"If we had scored, it would have been a whole new game. We didn’t make the plays, but they did."
I am sorry but this sounds like another “sorry we lost another game” speech that Texans fans are used to hearing. Granted, the Texans’ loss was not entirely their fault but the fact remains, Texans fans are bracing for another heartbreaking season.
Maybe it is time that the NFL considers using replay to view possible personal fouls against quarterbacks. They are so worried about protecting the money-makers of the league and yet, when the game is on the line, they completely blow the call.