On Monday, January 9 2017, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson cemented his place as a College Football legend after taking down the “unbeatable” Crimson Tide and their “NFL level” defense. Five days later on January 14, offseason mega-deal signee Brock Osweiler tosses three picks and posts a measly 13.7 QBR as “his” quarterback-less Houston Texans flutter out yet again in early playoff action. This brings us to now. Osweiler is spending some of that cash on Cleveland real estate and Watson has found a home of his own in Houston after the Texans gave away some serious draft ammo to climb up and grab him at 12. That all being said, head coach Bill O’Brien is still reluctant to call Watson the starter. As a matter of fact, Tom Savage is currently QB1 on the Texans depth chart. O’Brien must have a reason for this, whether it be Watson’s inability to prove he can be an effective NFL quarterback early on, or Tom Savage blowing the Texans’ staff away with his OTA performance and breathtaking professionalism. Whenever asked about the situation, O’Brien usually gushes a bit over Savage, saying he is “excited to work with him”.
Why is it a possibility that Savage could start? I would understand why the Texans would want Watson to sit a year if they had a competent quarterback ahead of him on the depth chart, but this is Tom Savage. Texans faithful already struggled through watching Osweiler simply hand his starting job to Savage last year. Only to watch Savage hand it right back due to his similar inability to get the ball rolling, or better yet, in the endzone. Savage has yet to throw a touchdown in the NFL and, in my opinion, he got just enough regular season NFL action last year to prove that he lacks the basic skill-set to be a winning NFL quarterback. Similar to the dude Houston traded to the Browns in a salary dump deal.
This is not the only thing I am worried about in regards to this team heading into the 2017 season. After winning the division last year, Houston is up against a 1st place schedule and they are far from a 1st place team. Their offensive line lacks serious depth and Lamar Miller will never elevate and win games for them on the ground, albeit his 1,000+ yard season last year. On top of that, newly acquired 3rd round pick D’Onta Foreman, the guy who was supposed to take some weight off of Miller’s shoulders in the form of carries, just caught a case and could possibly be facing a major suspension. And although I am a true believer that Deshaun Watson has the potential and tools to be a Hall of Fame NFL quarterback when his career is over, I still do not think this team has a quarterback that can do the job for them in 2017. Games at Cincinnati, New England, Seattle, and Baltimore and games vs Kansas City, Arizona, and Pittsburgh will most definitely prove to be too much for the Texans.
The Texans defense is good, Watt, Clowney, and Mercilus are three elite pass rushers but the rest of their defense does little to excite me, reminding me a bit of the 2016 LA Rams. Many thought they had an elite NFL defense, but even with Todd Gurley at running back, offensive inexperience and struggle led them to a deflating four win season. To conclude, my advice to Texans fans is strap in, because a week one 197 yard 0 touchdown 2 interception performance by Savage, paired with a divisional loss to a hungry Jacksonville team (with a secondary that can eat QBs up) could mean an all out free fall for Houston.