After topping off a terrible year with a disastrous performance against the New England Patriots, here are six reasons why the Houston Texans should cut Brock Osweiler.
The Houston Texans made a bold move during the 2016 season when they made the decision to sign an inexperienced quarterback in Brock Osweiler to a hefty four-year, $72 million contract, and it’s only taken one year to realize how much of a mistake it turned out to be. Any quarterback making that ridiculous amount of money would seem to have no issues with ranking near the top of the league, but Osweiler’s first full year as a starter for the Texans ended up being one to forget.
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Even if Houston has plenty to be proud of after reaching the Divisional Round of the playoffs, it’s tough for the team not to feel frustrated over the fact they could have advanced to the AFC Championship with a better quarterback than Osweiler. Just like previous seasons, it’s been the Texans’ defense leading the way for this team after the team locked up the AFC South title for the second year in a row, but there’s only so much the unit can do on their own.
The quarterback position has been the one thing holding Houston back from reaching the next level of being a strong contender in the AFC, and unfortunately that still seems to be the case when seeing the struggles of Osweiler displayed throughout the regular season and playoffs. It may turn out to be a tough pill to swallow when seeing all of the guaranteed money (Osweiler will receive $19 million next year no matter what) in his contract, but this year is the perfect example of why the Texans still need to figure out their issues at quarterback.
From disappointing numbers to the offense failing to live up to their true potential, here’s a look at six reasons why Houston should bite the bullet and part ways with Osweiler in the offseason.
6. Osweiler Threw More Interceptions Than Touchdowns
If any quarterback is making $72 million in a four-year span, there’s no excuse to finish a season with more interceptions than touchdown, which was exactly the case for Brock Osweiler in 2016. The former Denver Broncos quarterback ended up starting 14 of the 15 games he appeared in, but only threw 15 touchdown passes compared to 16 interceptions.
It would be one thing if the Texans failed to provide Osweiler with the necessary weapons to be successful, but that obviously wasn’t the issue. After reaching the postseason last year with one of the league’s top defenses, it was clear the quarterback position was the one area holding Houston back from being one of the strongest contenders in the AFC.
Unfortunately, the addition of Osweiler has the Texans in the same spot from a year ago when it comes to being an elite quarterback away from being strong contenders. Of course, the only difference this time around is Houston finds themselves in more debt from all of the money invested in bringing Osweiler on board.
Hopefully, the Texans spend some time in the offseason thinking about their future at the quarterback position, and finally realize Osweiler is far from the answer the team is looking for.
Bill O’Brien made a bold decision in Week 15 when he decided to bench Brock Osweiler in favor of Tom Savage. With the Texans losing to a terrible team like the Jacksonville Jaguars, it was embarrassing to see Osweiler struggle the way he did, especially with the team battling for the AFC South title.
Thanks to Savage providing a much-needed spark on offense, Houston managed to score the final 13 points of the game to go on and win, 21-20. One week later, the Texans were able to clinch the division title following a win over the Cincinnati Bengals with Savage at quarterback, making it seem like O’Brien would stick with the former Pittsburgh star in the postseason.
Instead, Houston would end up going back to Osweiler in the playoffs after Savage suffered a concussion during the regular-season finale against the Tennessee Titans. The argument will always be made that Savage would have still been the team’s quarterback when the Texans hosted the Oakland Raiders on Wild Card Weekend, but the only choice they had at that point was go back to Osweiler.
Even if he did perform well against the Raiders, Saturday’s performance against the New England Patriots was the perfect example of how disastrous this year was for Osweiler as the starter at quarterback. Whether the team decides to give Savage another chance or takes a chance on a rookie in the upcoming draft, any option seems better than Osweiler at this point.
Despite all of the quarterback issues for the Texans over the years, that didn’t stop DeAndre Hopkins from emerging as one of the league’s top wide receivers. From 2014-15, Hopkins caught 187 passes for 2,731 yards to go along with 17 touchdowns.
For a quarterback like Brock Osweiler, joining a team with a talented wideout like Hopkins was a dream come true as Houston hoped the two would immediately develop the type of chemistry to take the offense to the next level. Instead, Osweiler failed to take advantage of having Hopkins in the passing game during their first year together, which was frustrating to see for just about everyone.
The addition of Osweiler was supposed to help Hopkins and the rest of Houston’s passing game reach a whole new level, only to see it suffer instead. The fact that Hopkins saw his numbers go down (78 catches for 954 yards with four touchdowns) from the last two seasons was the last thing the Texans expected to see in 2016.
To top it off, let’s not forget how Hopkins was looking for an extension at the beginning of the season as a reward from his play over the previous two years. Thanks to Osweiler’s disappointing play, Houston may have more leverage when it comes to a possible future extension for Hopkins after having a down year.
As mentioned before, after winning the AFC South in 2015 before eventually being eliminated in the Wild Card round against the Kansas City Chiefs, it was clear the Houston Texans were an elite quarterback away from becoming true contenders in the conference. The defense was already considered one of the best in the league, but the offense was still a work in progress, even with the presence of DeAndre Hopkins in the passing game.
Instead of helping the offense reach the next level to become strong contenders in the AFC, Brock Osweiler puts the team in the same position as last offseason when it comes to figuring out their issues at quarterback. As much as Houston wants to give Osweiler another chance due to all of the guaranteed money in his contract, they also need to consider what’s best for the team in the future.
If there was anything to takeaway from Saturday’s loss to the New England Patriots, it would be the Texans deserve to be in the conversation of the top teams in the AFC after seeing how their defense kept Tom Brady in check for a majority of the game. Even if Vince Wilfork is out of the picture, all signs point to Houston having a top defense once again in 2017, and if the offense can figure out a way to reach an elite level, they could easily advance beyond the Divisional Round this time. The only question that remains is if that happens, who will be the one running the offense at quarterback?
What was the most frustrating part about Brock Osweiler‘s first season as starter in Houston? Was it the fact that Osweiler went five games without throwing a single touchdown? What about Osweiler only throwing for multiple touchdowns in five games?
All things considered, the most disappointing statistic from the 2016 season for Osweiler was how the quarterback went the entire year without a single 300-yard game. Not to mention Osweiler fell just shy of reaching 3,000 passing yards (2,957), despite starting 14 of the 15 games he appeared in.
Any NFL quarterback in Osweiler’s situation would have no issues with recording multiple 300-yard games for the Texans, but for some reason he just couldn’t figure out a way to build the necessary momentum on offense. Over the last two seasons between stints with Houston and the Denver Broncos, Osweiler has only thrown for more than 300 yards one time, which is embarrassing to think about when seeing the weapons he’s had to work with from both offenses.
If Osweiler were really the answer for the Texans at quarterback when it comes to running the offense, his inability to display these kind of games wouldn’t be an issue heading into the 2017 season.
1. Disappointing Playoff Performance Against Patriots
Nobody was giving the Houston Texans much of a chance in the Divisional Round against the New England Patriots, but the team deserves plenty of credit for giving Bill Belichick‘s team quite the scare for keeping the game closer than expected. In fact, most of the credit for the Texans staying in the game deserves to go to the defense when seeing all of the pressure they put on Tom Brady.
With that being said, it was Houston’s offense that failed to come through on their end after the defense showed why they were considered one of the best in the league during the regular season. In fact, if any other quarterback were running the offense for the Texans instead of Brock Osweiler, there’s a good chance they would have ended up defeating the Patriots to advance to the AFC Championship.
New England has never made it easy for opponents in the playoffs, but watching Houston’s defense turned out to be a much bigger problem than originally expected for Brady and company. The fact that Osweiler only threw for 198 yards on 23 completions to go along with three interceptions shows how his struggles ended up being the difference maker in this contest.
As bad as it sounds, members of the Texans have every reason in the world to be frustrated over their beloved quarterback in Osweiler when seeing how much he let them down with his disastrous performance.