New Faces, Same Outcome, Texans Takeaways from 2016
The Houston Texans season has come to an end. Here are the takeaways from the 2016 campaign. What can spectators expect next fall?
Saturday night’s 34-16 loss to the New England Patriots sparked a familiar feeling for Texan fans around the nation. A third consecutive 9-7 regular season finish, poor quarterback play and another loss in the divisional round of the playoffs. However, the team finished atop the AFC South for the second straight year and a handful of new faces were impactful. Here are the takeaways from the 2016 season… laser pointers included.
1. $72 million later and Houston still doesn’t have a QB
Last March I wrote an article for Toro Times claiming that the Texans “hit the lottery” during the 2016 free agency period. Upon further review, I was wrong. Fresh off his Super Bowl winning season, Houston signed ex-Broncos QB Brock Osweiler to a monster deal worth $72 million over four years, with $37 million guaranteed.
The buzz around Houston was that the team finally found their man under center. Right away, Osweiler took the reins as the leader on offense. He declined to visit the White House with his former team because he wanted to study the Texans’ playbook and he even flew to Arizona with some of Houston’s wide receivers to work on their passing routes and timing. Hard work pays off, right? Not in this case.
Osweiler’s career as a Texan started off exactly how he’d finish the season, with an interception. The fifth-year man threw one of his 16 interceptions on just his second passing attempt of the season, foreshadowing to Houston fans just how rocky the season will be. Osweiler continued to struggle through Week 14, which led him to the bench in favor of Tom Savage.
Becoming the starter again two weeks later, Osweiler finished out the regular season completing 59 percent of his passes for 2,957 yards, 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. The Texans had a clear shot at shocking the world and defeating the Patriots in the playoffs at Gillette Stadium, but Osweiler’s three interception performance was the team’s achilles heel.
If Houston wants to advance past the divisional round next season, they’re going to have to find a QB through the draft or free agency who can manage a game and protect the football.