Houston Texans: No Brainer, Bill O’Brien Has to Start Tom Savage

After benching quarterback Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien may be undecided going forward, but the choice is obvious.

Tom Savage is a better quarterback than Brock Osweiler. The money doesn’t say it and neither does their draft position—but everything that matters does.

The Denver Broncos selected Osweiler with their second-round pick back in 2012. The Arizona State quarterback was groomed to be the heir apparent to their legendary free agent signing that season, Peyton Manning.

It all worked to perfection, Manning led them to four winning seasons, two Super Bowl berths and a Super Bowl win in his final season. He then walked away and Osweiler was set to keep the winning ways going. Except he instead chased the money and the Houston Texans snatched him from Denver’s grips with a $72 million contract guaranteeing him $37 million.

That gave the Texans 37 million reasons to stick with Osweiler despite his immense struggles this season. The 6-8 passer has a dismal quarterback rating of 71.4 and has more interceptions (16) than touchdowns on the season (14). He has been a complete bust for a team that won nine games in each of the past two seasons, despite having a revolving door at the position.

With the Texans still in first place, the team was overlooking his play and betting on him finally figuring it out. On Sunday, with the offense looking pathetic against a two-win Jacksonville Jaguars team, head coach Bill O’Brien finally pulled Osweiler from a game.

The result was a come from behind win led by former fourth-round pick Tom Savage. The win kept the Texans in a tie with the Tennessee Titans for first place in the AFC South.

After the game, O’Brien was noncommittal about who would be under center going forward. Via Kristie Rieken of the Denver Post:

‘We’re always going to make decisions in the best interest of the team,’ O’Brien said. ‘We’ll regroup here tonight. We’ve got a short week and we’ll make decisions on anybody, any starter that we have. We make decisions on that every week.’

That was the wrong answer. The answer is Savage should be the starting quarterback and it’s a no-brainer.

In 14 starts, Osweiler has done nothing to earn his job. On Sunday, he had the team trailing 13-0 and had thrown two more interceptions as he was doing all he could to lose the AFC South for Houston.

Then, in the second quarter, Savage entered and led them to a 21-20 win. The backup had 260 yards passing in two and a half quarters and provided a much needed spark for Houston. He was so much more effective than Osweiler that his 260 yards passing in just over a half a game was more than Osweiler had thrown in a full game in all but two performances this season.

He also completed roughly 64 percent of his passes on the day. This also was superior to Osweiler in all but two games. So basically, the Texans can go back to their big money guy and hope that he outperforms Savage as he has only done twice in 14 tries. Or they can admit their mistake and go with the guy who can actually complete passes to the correct team.

Some decisions in life are really hard. This is not one of those decisions.

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