In his two weeks as interim head coach, Romeo Crennel has made some bold calls on the field. In Sunday's 42-36 OT loss to the Tennessee Titans, Crennel was a perfect 3-for-3 on his fourth-down decisions.
"Well, I think offensively, you know, they feel pretty good about where they were at that point and what they had been able to do to get it to the fourth and short, three, whatever it was," Crennel said. "And then when you go forward and you make it, that just gives them more confidence."
Two of the Texans fourth-down conversions resulted in touchdowns. Trailing 14-0 in the second quarter, Crennel opted for a fourth-down play at the one-yard line. Deshaun Watson threw a touchdown pass to Darren Fells to get the Texans their first score of the game. Late in the game, Crennel would decide to go for it on fourth-and-1 twice on the same scoring drive. David Johnson's one-yard run resulted in a new set of downs that ended in another fourth-and-1 at the goal line. The Texans went for and Brandin Cooks scored a touchdown for a 36-29 lead with 1:53 remaining in the game. It was the second consecutive week that Cooks found the endzone on a fourth-down play.
Crennel also opted to go for two points late in the game. After Brandin Cooks' one-yard touchdown run, Houston clung to a seven-point lead. After the game, Crennel said he wanted to "put the game out of reach" for the Titans with a two-score advantage.
"I don't feel bad about it at all," safety Justin Reid said. "We wanted to win the game. And I support that aggressiveness. It worked out for us last week. And had we converted on the 2-point conversion, this would be a totally different conversation. So it is what it is."
Watson's pass to Randall Cobb was tipped and incomplete and the two-point conversion failed. The Titans would tie up the game with a scoring drive and a successful extra point kick. But throughout the game, Watson had been 4-of-4 in goal-to-go situations, orchestrating a touchdown drive in four of the final six drives of the game.
"The two-point play, of course, we wanted to get one-on-one coverage with Duke," Watson said. "Then they played it, jammed them up and I came and had to move a little bit and Brandon was coming open and after looking I think he was the only guy that was really open. And right when I threw it I got around 54 but 98 was coming back and I think he got a shoulder pad or something tipped off of him, but Cobb said it was right there but he just got a hand on it. Yeah, it could have been the possession to put them away for good, but we still had opportunities and we just didn't capitalize as a whole team."
In Week 5 against Jacksonville, Cooks scored on a 28-yard catch-and-run on fourth-and-4 in the fourth quarter to give Houston a 30-14 victory over the Jaguars. The Texans are 4-for-4 on fourth-down conversions under Crennel and 6-of-8 on the season.