HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans benefitted from a San Diego Chargers penalty in the fourth quarter that erased a field goal, gave the Texans a new set of downs and immediately preceded Owen Daniels' second touchdown.
On Tuesday, league executive Dean Blandino said on NFL Network that it was the wrong call. Correctly applied, he said, the rule protects the long-snapper from a direct, forcible blow to the head or neck area.
"Let’s walk through the play last night first," he said. "You’re going to see here’s the center and it’s going to be number 92, Cam Thomas, that is going to make the contact. Basically there is some incidental contact with his left leg to the head/neck area but that is not a foul. That is legal contact. This should not have been called."
Well, if that's the case, Texans coach Gary Kubiak is a bit confused. He teaches his guys to leave the center alone on those plays.
"I didn’t personally talk to anybody," Kubiak said. "I heard that that was said. I didn’t talk to Dean or anything, but I would be confused; if that was said I need to talk to him. If you line up off the center and you do come toward the center and hit him, that’s a penalty. That’s the way it’s explained to us."
Who's to say how big of an impact that play would have had if called differently? The Texans would have been down 10 instead of just seven after the drive. But there was still 14:44 left in the game, plenty of time for anything to happen.