Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Lovie Smith on decision to punt late in OT: A tie was better than a potential loss

Dameon Pierce had a less than ideal start to the 2022 NFL season, but Matthew Berry explains why fantasy managers should exercise patience with the young Texans running back.

Lovie Smith didn’t lose his first game as head coach of the Texans, but he didn’t win it either.

The Texans faced a fourth-and-three at the Indianapolis 49 with 26 seconds left in overtime. Smith opted to punt, settling for the 20-20 tie, rather than attempting to get a first down and into position for a potential game-winning field goal.

“There’s a lot of football left to go in the season. It’s kind of as simple as that,” Smith said of his decision, via the Houston Chronicle. “I felt like a tie was better than a potential loss. Defensively, we weren’t really stopping them an awful lot at the end.”

Smith said he briefly considered going for it, but the Texans lost 2 yards on third-and-one at the Indianapolis 47 on the previous play. CBS analyst Tiki Barber questioned the third-down play call.

Smith received criticism postgame from fans and media for not playing to win with his fourth-down decision.

“At the time, it’s not like we were playing our best defense,” Smith said. “We were drained. We were gassed a little bit.”

The Texans hadn’t scored since 7:16 remained in the third quarter when they took a 20-3 lead. They allowed Matt Ryan to lead the Colts to 17 points in the fourth quarter, tying the game with 1:54 left in regulation.

With the Jaguars and Titans losing, the Texans and Colts sit atop the AFC South standings after Week 1.