When a head coach decides whether or not to go for it on fourth-and-goal, it's based on a lot of different factors in the game: timing, the play call, the situation, the score.
Sometimes, it's just based on a gut feeling.
On Sunday against the Jaguars, head coach Bill O'Brien saw something that told him what decision to make. The Texans had an opportunity to take seven-point lead with a field goal. Instead, O'Brien called a timeout with 14:29 left in the fourth quarter to think things over first.
"Foster said, 'Give me the ball. I'm going to score,'" O'Brien said Monday on his show on Texans Radio. "I saw the look in his eye and I said, 'Give him the ball. He's going to score.'"
Foster made good on his promise, though it wasn't easy. The All-Pro running back ran to his right before reversing directions. He picked up speed and found the endzone on a hard-fought one-yard touchdown run, giving Houston a 24-13 lead.
"When I watch him play, it's pretty interesting being around him for only a year, I can kind of tell when it's going to go well," O'Brien said. "Even though that play didn't look great in the beginning, it was his type of play because he'll press it and then hug it all the way back. It's very difficult to tackle him – he's 230 pounds and he's explosive. He made a great play."
The call worked in O'Brien's favor, but if it didn't, he knew he would have to answer his critics. One, in particular, was on his mind when Foster ran right with nowhere to go.
"First thing I thought was, 'My wife's going to kill me,'" O'Brien said, laughing. "She always yells at me for going for it on fourth down like, 'Why don't you just take the points?' I thought, Colleen's not happy with me right now."
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