Schwartz's errant challenge gives Houston a key break
BY Associated Press
Friday, November 23, 2012
11/23/12 at 4:39 AM
Jim Schwartz threw a challenge flag when he didn't need to and the Houston Texans made him regret it.
Shayne Graham's 32-yard field goal with 2:21 left in overtime lifted Houston to a 34-31 win over the Lions in Detroit on Thursday after their coach broke an NFL rule by attempting to challenge a scoring play.
"Obviously that's a big break in the game for us," Houston coach Gary Kubiak said. "But I think you make your breaks when you work your tail off."
Detroit kicker Jason Hanson had a chance to get Schwartz off the hook, but his 47-yard field goal attempt on the fifth possession of the extra period hit the right upright.
Lions defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch did, too, on the previous possession when he couldn't intercept a pass Matt Schaub threw directly at him deep in Houston territory.
Detroit might've won in regulation if its coach didn't make a costly mistake.
Schwartz threw a challenge flag when Houston's Justin Forsett scored on an 81-yard touchdown run in the third quarter after two Lions tackled him.
"Give him credit for continuing to play football," Kubiak said. "We talk about that all the time. You don't stop."
Replays showed Forsett's left knee and elbow hit the turf near midfield, and the automatic review that accompanies all scoring plays probably would have taken the TD off the board. But NFL rules say that throwing the challenge flag on a scoring play negates the review - and is an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to boot.
"It's on me," Schwartz could be seen saying to assistants and players on the sideline as he tapped his chest. "It's on me."
Yes, it was.
Forsett even acknowledged he shouldn't have been allowed to score.
"I know now that I was down, but I didn't think I was during the play," he said.
That score pulled Houston within three points.
"I knew the rule - you can't challenge on a turnover or a scoring play - but I was so mad that I overreacted," said Schwartz.
Kubiak had no sympathy.
"A rule's a rule," Kubiak said. "You've got to keep your flag tucked in your pocket."
Patriots 49, Jets 19: In East Rutherford, N.J., Tom Brady and the New England Patriots put this game - and the New York Jets' ugly season - away early.
At least it was competitive for a quarter. By halftime, it was a big-time laugher.
Brady threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score as the Patriots thoroughly embarrassed the Jets with a 35-point second quarter in a 49-19 victory Thursday night.
After a scoreless opening quarter, the Patriots (8-3) went on a touchdown spree despite holding the ball for only 2:14 as they took advantage of several mistakes by Rex Ryan's hapless Jets (4-7).
New England, which beat Indianapolis 59-24 on Sunday, scored four touchdowns in just over 6 minutes - including three in a jaw-dropping 52-second span - helping Bill Belichick become the eighth coach in NFL history with 200 career victories, including the playoffs.
Julian Edelman returned a fumble for a touchdown and caught a 56-yard pass for a score before leaving with a head injury. Wes Welker and Shane Vereen had touchdown catches, Steve Gregory returned a fumble for a score, and Stevan Ridley ran for a touchdown.
The Patriots improved to 19-0 in the second half of the season since 2010. They were 8-0 that year and last year, and are 3-0 this season after the midway point.
Original Print Headline: Texans slug out OT win
Houston Texans kicker Shayne Graham (17) kicks the game-winning field goal during overtime against the Detroit Lions on Thursday. The Texans won 34-31. DUANE BURLESON/Associated Press