All it took was two-plus quarters. Two-plus quarters without Brock Osweiler in the starting lineup for the Houston Texans.
The $72 million man watched from the sideline after throwing two horrible interceptions on Sunday. He watched as his team moved the ball up and down the field. He watched as DeAndre Hopkins caught eight passes for 87 yards — only the second game all year in which he caught at least eight passes.
He watched. And Houston’s offense blossomed.
Now, Tom Savage is no franchise passer. Then again, neither were the likes of Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, T.J. Yates and Brandon Weeden — the medley of passers who combined for 4,000-plus passing yards with 28 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season.
Yet Savage and the quarterbacks who played last year for Houston were able to get Hopkins the ball on a regular basis. He caught 111 passes last year, averaging seven receptions for 95 yards per game with 11 total touchdowns.
This year? Not so much.
Reason No. 1 for benching? Osweiler to Hopkins this season: 50.8 comp %, 4 TD, 9 INT, 49.2 rating. pic.twitter.com/ecQHmUkLcJ
— Sportsnaut (@Sportsnaut) December 18, 2016
Heading into Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Hopkins had caught just 60 passes for 701 yards and four touchdowns. That’s an average of less than five receptions and 54 yards per game.
Osweiler, in 14-plus games, has thrown 14 touchdowns and 16 interceptions this year. The Texans have been winning games in spite of him all year, not because of him.
There is no evidence to support the idea that Osweiler can ever be the quarterback of the future in Houston. This was something that has been glaringly evident from as early as the team’s Week 3 debacle on the road against the New England Patriots.
After Sunday’s game, head coach Bill O’Brien wouldn’t commit to Savage as the starter going forward, but he’d better change that stance quickly. While Savage is not going to be the quarterback of the future, he’s a far cry better as the primary option than Osweiler.
Perception on this issue sucks, because the Texans are paying Osweieler $37 million this year guaranteed, and he’s on the books for $19 million next year and has a dead cap hit of $25 million. Yikes.
Yet if this franchise values winning over what people have to say about a failed roster move, then Osweiler needs to be holding a clipboard the rest of the season and into the playoffs, if the Texans make it that far.
With an upcoming game at home against the Cincinnati Bengals and what could be the division-deciding game in Week 17 on the road against the Tennessee Titans, the Texans would be absolutely crazy to turn the keys of the offense back to Osweiler down the stretch.