Although this mindless blunder didn't cost the Houston Texans a victory, it will surely cost Daniel Manning in the team's Kangaroo Court if there is any justice in football.
As time expired in the first half of Sunday's game between the Texans and visting Pittsburgh Steelers, Manning successfully blocked a long field goal attempt by Pittsburgh kicker Shaun Suisham. Manning's teammate Johnathan Joseph scooped up the ball and returned it all the way to Pittsburgh's end zone for what should have given the Texans a commanding 16-0 lead, pending the extra point.
The key phrase there is should have.
During Joseph's return, Manning was flagged for an illegal block in the back against Steelers punter Daniel Sepulveda, who appeared to have no chance of catching the Texans cornerback. The penalty was as blatant as it was unnecessary. As a result, the touchdown was taken off of the board and the Texans' lead was just 10-0.
Thankfully for Manning, the Texans were still able to grind out a 17-10 victory over the Steelers. But the game probably shouldn't have been so close. As Judy Battista of The New York Times tweeted when the Steelers were driving in the third quarter, "Oh, Texans defense, we've seen this before. There is no way the Steelers should be driving to take a lead right now."
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