It did not take long for Bill O’Brien to offer up the sobering news for any Houston Texans fan: Brock Osweiler will be the starting quarterback on Saturday.
Any common-sense thinking Texans fan — heck, any common-sense NFL fan – knows that Osweiler has pretty much been a complete bust this season after his big signing with Houston. But can he be any worse than what Oakland is going through right now?
But first, let’s talk about Osweiler getting the start. Can he get the job done, or Saturday’s Wild Card playoff game be another dumpster fire just like the one that Brian Hoyer had last year?
Second, will this game lead to someone leaving town: Osweiler, O’Brien or general manager Rick Smith?
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Looking at what he did against Tennessee after Tom Savage left the game. Brock wasn’t terrible, but still has a way to go. His first deep pass to DeAndre Hopkins was way off, preventing him from making a big play. But later in the game, Brock did make a couple of easy passes to Hopkins that resulted in big plays. He also had a great pass to Wendell Williams in the second half that set up a touchdown run by Brock.
Osweiler wasn’t terrible against the Titans, going 21-of-40 for 253 yards and a touchdown pass and a touchdown run. It was also the first game all season where Brock didn’t throw a pick.
Against Oakland back in November in Mexico City, Osweiler wasn’t that bad against the Raider defense, going 26-of-39 for 243 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Of course, he probably needed emergency lasik after having the laser pointed in his eyes during the game.
The fact is, Osweiler is not a playoff-caliber quarterback right now. But he’s capable of having a good game on Saturday. But it will take the offensive line to protect Brock and give him some time to make good throws. Pass protection is part of the problem of Brock’s struggles, but a small part of his issues.
Brock is also going to need help from his receivers. They’ve had issues with dropped passes, but the unit has gotten better the last few games. One player who needs to step up is Will Fuller. His speed can be a big weapon against the Raider defense, if only he can catch the football.
Also expect to see a lot of C.J. Fiedorowicz, especially early in the game on short yardage plays. The big tight end will need to have a good game, especially on third down plays.
I think Osweiler will be able to have a pretty decent game on Saturday. Not a great game since his accuracy and decision-making are not good, but I feel he will do just enough for the Texans to get the win.