Now at 3rd and 10, the Texans tried to run a screen to David Johnson, but it was sniffed out, forcing Watson to scramble for what he could - 6 yards, but no 1st down. This was Bill O'Brien's biggest mistake in the game in my opinion. It was 4th and 4, at the 50-yard line and he decided to punt.
The game was tied, but there is no time to ever be conservative against the Chiefs. O'Brien couldn't give them the ball back, taking more time off the clock. Now was the time to strike, but he whimpered out. Instead of trusting Deshaun, he punted, the Chiefs took 10 minutes off the clock and scored another TD.
We got the ball back with 2:22 in the second quarter and needed to pick up the pace. One pass and two runs later, it was 1:26 when we used our first time out. A whole minute off the clock and we had moved 12 yards... not great. It seemed like Deshaun noticed that too, and wanted to pick up a chunk play. With Cooks isolated on the right side, Watson wanted to go his way. The Chiefs were playing Cover One Man, with a spy, and the cornerback guarding Cooks was pressing him.
As Cooks wins on the release, he accelerates downfield creating space. Watson sees it and floats up the ball, getting it to Cooks before the safety can interfere. The problem here wasn't Cooks' lack of separation, there was enough to fit a perfect throw in for a completion. The problem was Watson's ball placement.
The ball was inside where the cornerback can make a play on it, instead of outside and away, like the first throw we looked at this game, that Fuller dropped. Maybe Deshaun was discouraged that his WRs couldn't catch back-shoulder passes, but that's where it needed to be placed. Inside placement and Cooks never has a chance.