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Week 1 saw Brian Hoyer take the reins for three and a half quarters only to be pulled for Mallett, who looked good in the final minutes against Kansas City. Mallett was then named the starter and was up and down for the team.
After falling behind 42-0 in Week 4 against Atlanta, Mallett was then pulled for Hoyer. This time Hoyer looked good in leading the team to 21 points. Head coach Bill O’Brien must have realized Hoyer led the team to these points against a defense that wasn’t really giving full effort, because Week 5 started with Mallett at the helm again.
Week 5 started with Mallett again and although the team moved down the field, the first drive again ended in a turnover, which really has defined Mallett’s time as a starter.
This turnover was a pass off the hands of running back Arian Foster, but may have been due to the fact that Mallett throws with the same velocity on a 4-yard dump off that he does with a 20-yard out route.
Mallett was 7 of 10 passing for 50 yards (5 yards per attempt) before taking a shot after delivering a pass, which was flagged for roughing the passer. Hoyer entered for the injured player and completed one pass. That was enough to send the wishy-washy O’Brien into a tizzy.
He once again panicked and benched his quarterback. Hoyer did however look good and started to inspire some confidence. For the day he connected on 24 of 31 passes for 312 yards (doubling Mallett with 10 yards per attempt) and two touchdowns.
Yet Hoyer finished the game reminded the world he is still Brian Hoyer. He threw a pass under pressure that looked an awful lot like a punt, which was intercepted and ended the Texans chance at a comeback.
After the game O’Brien (shockingly) couldn’t decide on a passer going forward. Today however, he has once again flipped the script and returned to Hoyer going forward.
In defense of the coach, Hoyer does boast better season stats. Hoyer leads in passing percentage (62.1% to 53.1%) yards (780 to 770) and touchdown to interception ratio (5 touchdowns 2 interceptions to 3 touchdowns and 4 interceptions). Hoyer even has a quarterback rating of 96.8 which makes Mallett’s 63.6 rating look terrible.
The problem is not in naming Hoyer the starter, but rather in the incredible indecisiveness showed by O’Brien. Never has a team been successful when they cannot decide who the guy to lead the offense is and for some reason O’Brien cannot figure out that his vacillating is a huge reason for the teams 1-4 start.
By not naming one guy and keeping him, the team is in a constant state of confusion. Also, telling a quarterback he is not on a short leash yet making two changes in five weeks has to be making the entire team uneasy.
While a case can be made for either player, I simply say please Bill, make up your mind once and for all. The constant change will only continue to make the Texans more of a laughingstock. I am just glad there isn’t a third guy on the active roster.