Whether they’d like to or not, the Houston Texans are turning to Brock Osweiler for Sunday’s Wild Card Round playoff game against the Oakland Raiders. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports Osweiler will replace injured QB Tom Savage as Houston’s signal-caller.
The start represents a last chance for Osweiler to show he’s a starting quarterback for the Texans.
Osweiler did an admirable job filling in for Peyton Manning with the Denver Broncos last season and was an intriguing free agent option at QB for multiple teams. Then 26-year-old signed a massive, four-year $72 million contract ($39 million guaranteed) to come in and be the Texans’ long-term starter.
Osweiler never lived up to the deal, and his play got progressively worse after a 6-3 start. He threw two touchdowns against six interceptions in a four-week stretch late in the season, forcing Texans coach Bill O’Brien to turn to backup Tom Savage. Savage led Houston to back-to-back wins, before getting knocked out of action with a concussion. Osweiler took over last week in Tennessee as the Texans fell to the Titans.
On the season, Osweiler threw more interceptions (16) than touchdowns (15), which is thoroughly unimpressive. Aside from height, he didn’t bring much to the table. But now, the Texans will have to count on the struggling quarterback to keep their season alive. Luckily for Osweiler and the Texans, they’re facing the Raiders, whose quarterback situation is just as unstable. With MVP-candidate Derek Carr and backup Matt McGloin out with injuries, Oakland is starting Connor Cook, a rookie who has played one game in his career.
Osweiler needs to be steady and consistent for the Texans to pull off a Wild Card win. He doesn’t need to be spectacular, but if he limits turnovers and does a decent job throwing the ball, who knows, his run as Houston’s starter might have found some new legs. If he struggles, he’s probably going to get cut this offseason. No pressure.