Texans make it official: Brock Osweiler will sit and Tom Savage will make first career start – Yahoo Sports
This is not how the Houston Texans envisioned the end of their season playing out when they gave Brock Osweiler a $72 million contract this offseason.
The Texans, who are tied for first in the AFC South, will turn to Tom Savage to help get them to a division title. Osweiler, who has struggled all season, has been benched for at least this week. Savage will make his first career start against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
Based on how Osweiler has played this season, and how Savage looked in Sunday’s comeback win against the Jacksonville Jaguars, it was not a surprise that Texans coach Bill O’Brien announced Savage would start.
“Feel like Tom Savage gives us the best chance to win,” O’Brien said, according to the Texans’ Twitter feed. “We will see what he can do for us Saturday against the Bengals.”
Savage threw for 260 yards in a little less than three quarters on Sunday, which almost eclipsed Osweiler’s season high of 269 yards. Osweiler threw two awful interceptions early in Sunday’s game, and the Texans had seen enough.
Turning to Savage for this week’s game is the right move, even though he had just 19 career passes before Sunday and has never started an NFL game. It speaks to how bad Osweiler has been that the Texans’ only option this week was giving Savage his first start with a division title still in the balance.
Even Osweiler, who has a terrible 71.4 passer rating, wasn’t surprised he got benched. He had to experience a flashback to last year, when he struggled in Week 17 for the Denver Broncos and was replaced for good by Peyton Manning.
“I completely understand why coach [O’Brien] did what he did,” Osweiler said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “I’ve been down this road before. It didn’t surprise me. When it happened to me prior, obviously with a different team and a different season, it was to spark the team, and sometimes that’s what it takes.”
Texans owner Bob McNair, who wanted a new quarterback this past offseason and has supported Osweiler through his struggles, seemed to be on board with the team going to Savage.
“I’m just glad I wasn’t the one that had to make that decision,” McNair said after Sunday’s game, according to the Chronicle. “I mean, that was a gutsy call. Give coach credit, he made a change and it was for the good of the team. We benefited from it. Now we have three good quarterbacks and we are proud of all of them.”
What can the Texans do with Osweiler beyond this season? His contract was structured so the Texans could safety get out of it after two seasons. But that means he has another season to go at $18 million per year. If Savage impresses or the Texans look elsewhere in the offseason for a starting quarterback, Osweiler would be a very expensive backup.
First the Texans need to worry about winning the division this season. To do that, they felt their $600,000 backup quarterback gave them the best chance.
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