Head coach Gary Kubiak said the Texans will send six or seven of the 11 penalties called on them in last night's loss at Indianapolis to the NFL for review.
Kubiak did not offer excuses for his team's 19-16 loss to the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. He called the penalties "part of football" and pointed to the Texans' inability to control the clock, convert on third down, score touchdowns in the red zone and come up with a defensive stop late in the fourth quarter. He said the Texans had to "be a big boy and keep playing and find a way to make it work."
"Eleven penalties, obviously I don't agree with all of them, but that's neither here nor there," Kubiak said. "Our job's to keep playing and play through mistakes and play through issues. We had our chances to do that, and we didn't do it. We'll turn them into the league. We got to make sure we're on the same page because a few of those we just don't understand why they were roughing calls.
"I'll wait to hear back from the league and we'll make sure we address it as a group and players take responsibility for it and coaches and move forward."
Three of the 11 penalties were called on rookie defensive end J.J. Watt. The first was a roughing the passer penalty in the second quarter. Watt sacked quarterback Dan Orlovsky but was flagged for what referee Jerome Boger called a helmet-to-helmet hit.
Watt drew back-to-back penalties in the red zone on the Colts' game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. He tackled Orlovsky after a two-yard run on second-and-10 from the Houston 20-yard line. He was penalized five yards for illegal use of hands to the face. On the next play, Watt hit Orlovsky as he threw an incomplete pass and was called for roughing the passer, which gave the Colts first-and-goal at the six with 35 seconds remaining.
The penalties marred a monster performance by Watt. The first-round pick from Wisconsin had five tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss and three quarterback hits and batted down three passes at the line of scrimmage.
"You turn on the film and this kid played one hell of a football game," Kubiak said. "Unbelievable game. If we're right on a couple of those (penalties), then it got even better. If we're wrong, then we've gotta make those corrections so it doesn't happen again. But (we) just don't understand a couple ways that it happened, us understanding the rules and the way they were called. But it can't happen. You can't have penalties and there's no excuse for them, but at the same time, the kid deserves a lot of credit for the football game he played. It was off the charts, now. He's been a big-time player all year long, and he plays with great energy."
After the game, Watt was diplomatic when asked about the penalties in the Texans' locker room.
"At the end of the day, no matter how they happen, you can't get penalties, and that's what I did today," Watt said. "They were called. That's all I can say. Penalties are called; can't argue with the referees and just got to move forward. I know the first one, he (Boger) said I hit the quarterback in the helmet. That's what the referee saw, so I can't argue one bit with the referee. That's his call.
"The last two are absolutely unnecessary on my part. That's completely on me. Those are critical, and I can't have those two penalties. That hurts our football team at a very critical time of the game, so I'm going to go in and watch the film, get those corrected. I can't do that. I can't hurt our football team like that."