T.J. Yates should remain Houston Texans starting quarterback


After the season-ending injury to rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, Tom Savage has stepped in and performed rather poorly. Under the leadership of Savage the Texans are 1-6 and have fallen out of playoff contention. T.J. Yates replaced Tom Savage after he left Sunday’s game with an injury and performed surprisingly well. With the season going down the drain, the Texans would be best served starting Yates for the remainder of the season.

Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage gets replaced by T.J. Yates
Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage heads to the locker room and is replaced by T.J. Yates. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Yates is not a flashy quarterback by any means. In fact his career completion percentage is comparable to Savage, 57.5 percent for Savage and 57.7 percent for Yates. Neither quarterback is going to light up the stat sheet however Savage’s 1-6 record this season, starting Yates just to see what he is capable of is the best option. The Texans playoff hopes disappeared with the injury to Watson and Savage is clearly not a suitable replacement.

In Sunday’s contest Yates came in and completed 14 of 26 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns.. Yates was also able to add 31 yards on the ground on three rushes. The only two touchdown drives for Houston were with Yates in at quarterback. The five drives with Savage in at quarterback resulted in a field goal, three punts and a turnover on downs. While the Texans punted three times with Yates in the game, he brought them into scoring position three times. One of the drives resulted in a missed field goal from Ka’imi Fairbairn. Three scoring chances from Yates compared to one for Savage show a drastic difference in the Texans offense with each quarterback in the game. Simply put, the Texans were more effective with Yates lining up under center.

Houston Texans quarterback T.J. Yates
Houston Texans quarterback T.J. Yates played well in relief of starter Tom Savage. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Confusing Yates with an average NFL quarterback is irresponsible, however the reality is that the Texans have nothing to lose at this point. Houston is 4-9 on the season and appear that they will finish third or fourth in the AFC South. Head coach Bill O’Brien is out of options at the quarterback position. At this point it is worth finding a backup for Watson or even a contingency plan in case Watson does not return to form immediately. A situation that the Washington Redskins found themselves with Robert Griffin III. Griffin was never the same player and Washington found a suitable replacement in Kirk Cousins. Yates is too old to be a long term solution in this scenario, that is of course discounting his ability to be a late bloomer. However Yates is able to play until a longterm replacement is found.

The Texans have three games remaining this season and the only one that Houston has a chance to win is Week 17 when they face the Indianapolis Colts on the road. Next week Houston travels to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars before returning home to face the Pittsburgh Steelers. The matchups in Week 15 and 16 will prove difficult for the Texans to win. During this time Houston is better off starting Yates instead of reverting back to Savage.