Lovie Smith played for the tie on Sunday afternoon.
The Houston Texans coach had a chance to go for it on a short fourth down with just 20 seconds left in overtime at NRG Stadium, but he opted to punt instead — which resulted in their 20-20 tie with the Indianapolis Colts.
Though a successful fourth-down conversion could have put them into field-goal range and potentially give them the win, Smith defended his move to simply play for the tie. After all, in his eyes, that’s better than the alternative.
“I felt like a tie was better than a loss,” Smith said, via PFN’s Aaron Wilson. “It’s not like we were playing our best defense at the time. We were drained. We were gassed.
“In an ideal world, you want to win. You settle for the tie. Lots of football left in the season.”
The Colts rallied back from a 17-point hole in the fourth quarter to force overtime with the Texans. Indianapolis kicker Rodrigo Blankenship missed a game-winning field goal in the extra period, too, which gave the Colts one final chance for the win.
Though quarterback Davis Mills got the Texans just past midfield, the drive stalled at the Colts' 49-yard line.
Had they gone for it and missed, Indianapolis would have taken over at midfield — potentially putting the Colts in position for a game-winning field goal again.
“We thought about [going for it],” Smith said, via ESPN Radio’s Vanessa Richardson. “I knew if we didn’t get it, they had time of course and at the time, it’s not like we were playing our best defense either. So we had made it, we had been in position. Just felt like there, based on what all was happening in the game, that was the right decision.”
Like it or not, Smith ensured his team didn't start out the season with a loss on Sunday. It's hard to argue with his logic from that standpoint.