After watching Brock Osweiler throw interceptions on back-to-back drives in the second quarter Sunday at NRG Stadium, and his team down 13-0, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien benched his big-ticket free agent in favor of the 135th player taken in 2014’s draft. Tom Savage helped lead the Texans to a 21-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, and O’Brien’s boss was impressed by the decision.
“I’m just glad I wasn’t the one that had to make that decision,” Texans owner Bob McNair said from outside his team’s locker room. “That was a gutsy call, and give coach credit. He made a change and it was for the good of the team, and we benefitted from it, so now we’ve got three good quarterbacks, and we’re proud of all of them.”
Before being pulled from the game, Osweiler completed 6-of-11 passes for 48 yards. His two interceptions led to 10 Jacksonville points. He has thrown 16 interceptions this season. Savage, playing in just his third NFL game, threw for 260 yards on 23-of-36 passing, but McNair wouldn’t say if he’d remain the team’s starting quarterback for Saturday’s game against Cincinnati.
“Tom played very well, and he got things going for us,” he said. “(The change) was a decision (O’Brien) made, and he’s going to do what he thinks is best for the team, and he’ll be visiting with the quarterbacks, working with them, deciding what we’ll be doing going forward, but that’s his call.”
Whatever decision O’Brien makes may very well decide the Texans fate in 2016. With two games remaining in the regular season, the Texans remain tied with Tennessee for first place in the AFC South. The Texans can clinch the division with a win and a Titans loss in Jacksonville, but a Tennessee win or Houston loss means the teams would play a winner-take-all game New Years Day in Nashville.
“We’ve got two more games, and we need to win both of them,” McNair said. “They’ll be tough, and they’ll be close, everybody will be scrapping and digging and clawing and biting and anything they can do, so we just need to keep fighting the way we did today.”