DeShaun Watson showed enough on Sunday (most importantly demonstrating that he is, in fact, not Tom Savage) to earn the starter’s job for Week 2, according to Ian Rapoport.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 12, 2017
That’s a remarkably quick trigger for Bill O’Brien to pull, considering he had the entire offseason to evaluate both quarterbacks. And if he saw enough to believe that what Tom Savage displayed during Sunday’s abysmal first half performance (7.9 QBR, 7-13 for 62 yards while taking 6 sacks, which sounds like a lot of sacks for one half but makes sense when you realize Savage has the mobility of a marble obelisk) was going to carry over, why in the world did he have Savage starting to begin with?
It reads like O’Brien hoping against hope for a miracle, and when he saw none was forthcoming, he went to the rookie. And he’ll continue to go to the rookie, even though Watson will now have a short week to prepare for his first NFL start, as the Texans play at Cincinnati on Thursday night this week. At this point, it feels like the Texans made a giant mistake by not just committing to Watson earlier, giving him starter’s reps as soon and as often as possible. The only reason why it wouldn’t have made sense is if Savage looked demonstrably better throughout camp and the preseason, but if he had, then pulling the ripcord this quickly makes even less sense.
But, even if he compounded a mistake a little bit, it’s better to cut the sunk cost now as opposed to compounding it further. And it’s going to be fun to see how Watson’s game translates to the NFL; Bears fans are probably wishing their team had a similarly short leash with a rookie waiting in the wings.
Plus, the Texans are blessed to play in the worst division in the NFL, so there’s a decent chance we’ll get to see Watson lose a Wild Card game at home this season.