Brock Osweiler was benched by the Houston Texans on Sunday after two awful interceptions. Tom Savage replaced him and led Houston to a win, proving unequivocally he is the team’s best option under center moving forward. Sunday’s game illustrated, once again, that Brock Osweiler isn’t a starting quarterback in the NFL and that the Denver Broncos avoided disaster when the Texans vastly overpaid for him.
Osweiler signed at the beginning of free agency, agreeing to a four-year, $72 million deal with $37 million in guarantees. That came after the Broncos were reportedly willing to give him $16 million a year and $30 million in guaranteed money. Obviously Denver was hesitant to do so based on the fact the team didn’t raise the offer when Osweiler balked. It clearly worked in Denver’s favor, as the Arizona State product has been a monumental bust in Houston.
In eight games last season for the Broncos, Osweiler completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 1,967 yards, with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. His passer rating of 86.4 and Total QBR of 58.3 were both mediocre. So when Peyton Manning retired and Denver had to pick its quarterback of the future, the front office was understandably hesitant to hand the keys to the franchise over to Osweiler. Rather than overpay for him, the Broncos chose uncertainty with Trevor Siemian and relying on the NFL draft for a solution (which became Paxton Lynch). That should have told the Texans something.
Instead, Houston jumped on Osweiler as free agency opened. In fact, the Texans signed him so quickly, head coach Bill O'Brien didn’t even have the chance to meet with his new franchise quarterback in person. It was a ridiculous, short-sighted move that Houston will be dealing with for years to come.
In his first year as a full-time starter, Osweiler has been horrendous. He is completing just 59.5 percent of his passes for 2,704 yards, with 14 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. His passer rating for the season is an atrocious 71.4 and he’s averaging a brutally bad 5.75 yards per attempt. His passer rating hasn’t topped 100 in any game this season.
To show you how awful those numbers truly are, in two-plus quarters on Sunday, Savage averaged 7.2 yards per attempt and threw for 260 yards. Osweiler has topped 7.2 yards per attempt exactly once in 14 starts this season, and has thrown for more than 260 yards twice.
Osweiler is 26 and has the ability to make all the throws with his big arm. The issue? He can’t do it consistently, he’s awful at reading defenses and is indecisive in the pocket. If the 8-6 Texans want to make the playoffs and actually do something this season, Savage needs to be the team’s quarterback.
Meanwhile, the Broncos have turned things over to Siemian, who has completed 61.2 percent of his passes, for 2,730 yards, with 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions. His passer rating (89.7) and Total QBR (61.1) blow Osweiler’s away. He’s also two years younger and his four-year, $2.33 million rookie contract is one of the best value deals in the NFL.
Denver (8-5) dodged a bullet Matrix-style when the Texans ponied up the money to sign Osweiler. It was a bad deal when Houston made it and it’s even worse now.