The Houston Texans are 4-0 at home. That’s the good news.
The bad news is they’re 0-3 on the road and have been outscored 85-22 in those games. They were shut out in New England, they looked helpless in Minnesota and they failed to score a single touchdown in Denver.
Those are three elite teams, yes. But if you struggle that much against elite teams, guess what that makes you? Yup, not elite.
Houston’s biggest problem, without question, has been Brock Osweiler, the $72-million man who has eight touchdowns and eight interceptions in seven games.
“Ever since Matt Schaub left two-and-a-half years ago, this team has just had mediocre quarterback play since Bill O’Brien has been here,” Houston 610 AM host Ted Johnson said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Bill O’Brien, in his first two years, I think he could justify it to his fan base and to his players. We didn’t like any quarterbacks in that 2014 class. We went and got Jadeveon Clowney No.1 overall. Second year, they’re selling the fan base on Brian Hoyer: He’s going to be better than Ryan Fitzpatrick was in 2014. You end up with a 9-7 season. Bob McNair had enough – and the fan base had enough – of just seeing the same old (mediocrity) at that position. This is (O’Brien’s) hand-picked selection, really hitching his wagon for the first time to a quarterback they got in free agency in Brock Osweiler. This is what he’s supposed to be good at is coaching offense. There’s not a lot of imagination. It looks like Brock Osweiler is confused out there, and he’s making it look hard just to make easy throws. Nothing is going right with Brock Osweiler here and it’s really looking bad here because the fan base feels like this is an albatross wrapped around him for the next two years. Don’t forget: he has a guaranteed contract of $18 million in Year 2, so this is a two-year deal. You got to love the one you’re with, and it’s going to be Brock Osweiler for the foreseeable future.”
Looking back, it’s not difficult to see how the Texans got in this position.
“After Brian Hoyer threw four interceptions to end the season last year in the first round of the playoffs, McNair was not happy,” Johnson said. “So the pressure was on. They had to do something to appease Bob McNair and this fan base. As far as free-agent quarterbacks go, you have to admit it’s very rare that a guy who’s a second-round pick, been in a system for three years and appears to be the heir apparent to Peyton Manning would leave. It was a drastic move with only seven games of film, and the fact that they never really got to look the guy in the eye before they signed him because of the rules – it was a very risky proposition. So there was a lot of risk involved without really knowing what you’re getting. Right now, the Texans are paying for it.”
Houston hosts Detroit (3-4) this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.