Houston Texans coach Bill O'Brien took the heat Monday for questionable clock management at the end of his team's 20-17 loss at the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
With only 17 seconds left on the clock, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson took a few seconds scrambling around before connecting with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on the game-ending pass over the middle. The 31-yard completion over the middle allowed the clock to run out with Hopkins tackled at the Tennessee 20-yard line.
"I think we have to call a better play there," O'Brien said. "I think we have to call a better play, put him in a better situation. Tennessee did a good job on that play. I think we have to do a better job of designing that play."
Watson completed 22 of 32 passes for 310 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for a 107.6 passer rating. He fumbled once but recovered it. He also rushed for 44 yards.
Of Watson's two interception thrown in the end zone this season, O'Brien also took responsibility away from his quarterback by saying, "I think that he's trying to make a play. I'm trying to make a play, so we're trying to be aggressive there and it just hasn't worked out. Put the blame on me for that."
Watson has been sacked seven times and hit 21 times overall. The offensive line has been unproductive. Watson has avoided plenty of sacks with his scrambling, including that last play Sunday against the Titans.
"It's definitely Deshaun recognizes it first and he gets them to where he wants them to go," O'Brien said. "He works with (center) Nick (Martin) on that to really shore it up quickly and help ID so they're on the same page, but it's Deshaun who gets us to the people that he wants to get to. Blitz was, three or four times, definitely was a little bit of an issue.
"I think that's another area where we really have to improve because we have answers for that. We've got to really coach it better because the answers were there if you really study the film, the answers were there, but we've got to get these guys to recognize it faster. It really is all about coaching."
--LB Duke Ejiofor had the first sack of his career against Tennessee on Sunday. He also had a quarterback pressure in the first half that forced a bad throw.
--QB Deshaun Watson was under pressure most of the game against Tennessee but still passed for 310 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran five times for 44 yards.
--RB Lamar Miller ranks fourth in the NFL with 166 yards on 34 carries.
--WR Will Fuller caught eight passes for 113 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown, on nine targets from Deshaun Watson on Sunday.
--DE J.J. Watt had six tackles, including a team-high two for loss, in the game Sunday at Tennessee. He did not record a sack in the first two games.