The Texans attempted what could be the worst punt of the 2021 NFL season, and have only themselves to blame after attempting to trick the Patriots.
Houston was lined up to punt on fourth-and-2 from its own 36 when punter Cameron Johnston ran up from his normal position, seemingly ready to take the snap and attempt a fake. That caused New England’s punt return team to shift to a more defensive formation. But Johnston backed up again, clearly trying to punt before the return man could return to their normal position.
The problem: Johnston didn’t back up far enough, and ended up punting a line driver into his own player’s helmet (it appeared to be Terrence Brooks).
Here’s the play, in all its horribly executed glory:
The play was doomed from the start, including in David Culley’s decision to call it in the first place. The Texans had a 22-9 lead over the Patriots with roughly 10 minutes to go in the third — New England needed all the help it could get to get back in the game, and Houston obliged.
The Patriots took over at the 36, but couldn’t do much with the great field position, going instead for the 52-yard field goal. They later tied the game at 22-22 after a 13-yard touchdown from Mac Jones to Hunter Henry.
Regardless, Twitter was highly amused/confused/perplexed/disgusted by the comedy of errors that was the Texans’ punt:
Texans special teams have been horrendous. Two missed extra points. A punt for no yards that bounced off a safety’s back. I don’t think I’ve seen that in more than four decades of covering the NFL.
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) October 10, 2021