Officials May Have Screwed the Texans and Saved Deshaun Watson With a Bad Call to Avoid Replay

Stephen Douglas
Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans
Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

The Cleveland Browns took a 7-5 lead into halftime against the Houston Texans in Week 13. The question is, should the Texans have been in the lead after officials ruled a possible Deshaun Watson fumble an incomplete pass?

Watson dropped back with less than a minute remaining and appeared to change his mind about throwing the ball. With a defender at his feet he looked like he was trying to hold onto the ball when he lost it and appeared to throw a pass into the ground, perhap laterally. Jerry Hughes picked up the ball and ran it into the end zone, but it was ruled an incomplete pass.

At the very worst it looked like he was at the 19 and the ball landed on the 19. If it wasn't backwards, it was as close as you could possibly be. Unfortunately, the Texans couldn't challenge the call because it was under two-minutes.

It seems possible, perhaps even likely, that officials - who did not blow the play dead - took the coward's way out by calling it an incomplete pass so they wouldn't have to review the play.