David Culley admits he should have declined late penalty against Patriots to preserve clock


HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610) -- David Culley clarified his confusing explanation for managing the clock late in Sunday's 25-22 loss to the New England Patriots.

Immediately after the game, Culley said he thought about allowing the Patriots to score a go-ahead touchdown to allow time for the Texans to respond.

They were tied at 22 when the Patriots ran 13 plays between 7:15 left to play and the two-minute warning. By that point, the Patriots were inside the 10-yard line and likely to score.

Then, Rhamondre Stevenson scored a touchdown that was nullified due to an illegal shift penalty with 1:56 to go. This was the time for Culley to decline the penalty, allow the points and give his offense an opportunity to score its own touchdown. Instead, he accepted the penalty and the Patriots milked the clock down to kick a game-winning field goal with just 15 seconds left for the Texans' offense.

"I should've declined the penalty," Culley told reporters Monday morning. "If I had it to do over again, I would decline the penalty."

Part of the logic, as Culley explained, for not simply allowing the Patriots to score was the belief by Houston's defensive staff that it could force a turnover near the goal line, as they had earlier in the game when Terrance Mitchell forced a fumble on Patriots running back Damien Harris.

Of course, that did not happen, and Nick Folk's 21-yard field goal decided the game.

This was not exactly the turning point of the game. That would've been when the Texans went three-and-out in a third quarter drive, and Cam Johnston shanked a punt which was deflected off the back of his teammate Terrance Brooks' helmet.

Or it could have been the roughing the passer penalty called on Maliek Collins when Houston stopped New England on 3rd-and-18 on that drive which eventually ended with the game-clinching field goal.

That's not to mention the fact Ka'imi Fairbairn missed to extra point attempts and a 56-yard field goal.

There is plenty of blame to go around and the Texans are well aware they let this one get away from them. New England scored 16 unanswered in the second half after trailing Houston 22-9.

The Texans are now 1-4 with a trip to the Indianapolis Colts next Sunday.