I’d say this is Monday Morning quarterback time, but this decision seemed so easy it should have made weeks before we even had to come to this point:
How confident can you be in a player when you decide to bench him for his rookie backup at halftime in week 1? Coach Bill O’Brien and his world famous chin had a head scratching move to start off the season for the promising Houston Texans. What was the purpose of setting someone up to fail if you were going to keep him on the tighter leash than the dogs at the Westminster show?
In years of trial by fire, the vaunted rookie quarterback always gets thrown into start right away. Why? Because it’s the quickest way to learn if he is going to sink or swim. The only time a rookie will not start week 1 is when he is backing up an already credible quarterback. Aaron Rodgers backing up Brett Favre comes to mind as an example.
The start of the @deshaunwatson era?
— NFL (@NFL) September 14, 2017
This is NOT the case for the Texans.
All due respect to Tom Savage, but he was never the leader of the Texans. He’s a backup to stopgap a transition. I felt bad for him halfway through the game, he looked like a kid lost at an amusement park who can’t find his parents. Savage was sacked more than a department after being bought out from a larger corporation.
Part of it was his fault and part of the blame should go to the offensive line. The clear cut case though was Savage couldn’t move the ball and the offense became dully dreadful. From day 1 DeShaun Watson sparked a lethargic offense. The question was why wasn’t he in there from the beginning?
Im not one that puts all my stock in preseason, but nonetheless he had an exciting time. It certainly was not a failure. Besides that, what did Tom Savage do last year that made anyone go “Wow! He needs to be the starter next season!”
I guess the argument here can be made that the Texans are in a catch 22 ordeal. They’re at a position now where they can go out and win, they can’t be backtracked by holding the hand of a rookie as he learns the wide world of professional football.
Even though Watson was sacked 4 times, it was still less than Savage. At the end of the day Watson wasn’t wildly impressive, but he did something Savage couldn’t do, score points.
Deshaun Watson's first NFL career touchdown pass 🔥 here's to many more! pic.twitter.com/ITbm9QFQMb
— 🏈Football Talk🏈 (@ProSportsSZN) September 12, 2017
Houston has a top 3 defense, a top 5 wide receiver, and overall an above avearge offense in terms of weapons excluding the quarterback. What’s a solution for that? Grab a veteran experienced quarterback to guide that ship. Think of Carson Palmer on the Cardinals as an example.
Tom Savage is the opposite of that.
There is also history for a team that wants to win with a rookie like DeShaun Watson, and it’s all thanks to that defense. Though it ended terribly, the Jets had a system with Mark Sanchez that was successful in it’s early years. They ran the ball and had helpful wide outs when passing.
The most important facet of all this was defensive reliability. There’s no reason the Texans can’t do the same.
When it comes to Watson, the jury is still out, but there’s no way he could be much worse than Savage. DeShaun Watson brings more to the table, it’s just facts.
Boiling it all down, the largest weakness for the 1st week was offensive line protection. Here’s the difference: Watson can move and be elusive, Savage can not.
There will be changes to the #Texans offense on Thursday night.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 11, 2017
The Texans future doesn’t lie with Tom Savage. There’s a chance it could with DeShaun Watson. For now use the plan to rely on your strengths as he starts now in week 2. They might have learned even a little more what they had, it was just 2 quarters too late.
Matthew Matera is a contributing writer for gmbsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @matty4_matera2, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your Google network