Columns NFL

Houston’s Texas-sized gamble on Brock Osweiler looks like a bust

Jesse Reed
Written by Jesse Reed

Through three games, the Houston Texans haven’t seen a good return on their investment in quarterback Brock Osweiler.

Houston gave Osweiler a four-year deal with up to $72 million, including $37 million guaranteed. It was a move that many considered to be quite a gamble considering the quarterback had only started seven games before 2016.

After watching Osweiler crumble under pressure in Houston’s humiliating 27-0 loss to the New England Patriots on Thursday night, the idea that the Texans swung and missed on this guy appears to be crystallizing with every passing week.

A photo posted by @sportsnaut on

Before signing with Houston, Osweiler was mediocre-to-poor during his seven starts with the Denver Broncos last year. Like Peyton Manning this past season and Trevor Siemian in 2016, his deficiencies were covered up by the dominant Broncos defense.

During his first two games with the Texans this year, Osweiler’s deficiencies were once again covered up by a dominant defense.

Then New England exposed him as a fraud in front of the nation. Taking away top receiver DeAndre Hopkins, the Patriots played Osweiler like a fiddle.

At this point, he’s a fifth-year pro who still makes rookie mistakes that leads us to the unfortunate yearning of wanting to gouge out our eyes — telegraphed passes into coverage, predetermined reads and the inability to read defenses before the snap being the chief among them.

Last night, two passes typified this to maddening perfection.

The first was his awful interception, right into the waiting hands of New England Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins (who had a monster game). Osweiler never saw him waiting on that pass over the middle. He telegraphed the throw, and it resulted in a turnover.

Then, right at the start of the fourth quarter, when Houston desperately needed something to go right down 20-0, Osweiler almost gave New England six points.

Once again, predetermining his throw before the snap, Osweiler attempted to hit rookie Will Fuller on a slant on 4th and 4. Unfortunately for the Texans, it was exactly the same play that doomed Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. And wouldn’t you know it, just like we saw in the Super Bowl, Malcolm Butler was waiting to pounce.

Then there was the debacle near his end zone, where Osweiler nearly had his own butt-fumble moment.

So many moments in this game painted Osweiler as a quarterback in way over his head (and don’t even get us started on head coach Bill O’Brien, who deserves his own column).

And he’s not exactly burning up the stat sheet, either this year or during his stretch as a starter with the Broncos last season.

Even when Osweiler is connecting, some of his throws come out looking weak and you’re wondering if they will get there.

A quarterback who isn’t blessed with particularly impressive arm strength, who isn’t particularly accurate, who doesn’t make sound decisions with the ball (he got extremely lucky last year in terms of how many passes actually got intercepted), Osweiler is making Kirk Cousins (one-year $20 million) look like quite the bargain right now.

And this is a guy who was tutored by Manning for four years. He should theoretically be better than this.

The Texans took a huge risk signing an untested guy like Osweiler to a lucrative contract. He might turn out to be passable at some point, but right now he’s looking like a legitimate bust.

About the author

Jesse Reed

Jesse Reed

Managing Editor here at Sportsnaut. Featured on Yardbarker, Foxsports.com and MSN.com, and formerly was a breaking news writer/NFL analyst for Bleacher Report.