Sunday has not been a banner day for the Houston Texans’ special teams.
Early in the second half of Houston’s matchup with the New England Patriots, the Texans tried to get creative with their punt unit. Punter Cameron Johnston initially lined up in his usual spot, then crept closer to the line, as if to execute a fake. That shift prompted punt returner Gunner Olszewski to sprint up, leaving the Patriots without a deep man.
Johnston countered this dropping back closer to his normal alignment, apparently hoping to catch New England out of position. But he didn’t drop far enough.
Johnston’s punt nailed one of his blockers in the back of the helmet and bounced straight out of bounds, giving the Patriots possession at the Texans’ 36-yard line.
Houston’s defense mitigated that miscue by holding the Patriots to a 52-yard Nick Folk field goal that cut the Patriots’ deficit to 22-12.
Earlier in the game, Texans kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn missed two extra points and sent a kickoff out of bounds.
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