Tom Savage took the field to a chorus of cheers today at NRG Stadium, and after leading the Houston Texans to a 21-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, gave fans reason for hope.
The competition, however, was less than impressed.
“That wasn’t Peyton Manning back there,” said safety Jonathan Cyprien. “Neither one of those quarterbacks were Peyton Manning. One of them was a backup.”
“We still held them to field goals,” said cornerback Jalen Ramsey. “Until the last drive. It is what it is.”
Savage entered in the second quarter, after Brock Osweiler threw interceptions on back to back drives, leading to 10 Jaguars points in a span of just 2 minutes, 44 seconds, and a 13-0 hole.
He looked comfortable, making quick decisions with the football and throwing with crisp accuracy, flashing a mastery of the offense that just didn’t seem to be there all season with Osweiler.
Maybe his biggest feat: making DeAndre Hopkins a factor for the first time this season. Hopkins had eight catches for 87 receiving yards, after cracking 75 only once prior on the year.
Savage, a fourth round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, finished with 260 yards on 23 of 36 passing, no touchdowns and no interceptions, and an 85.4 quarterback rating.
He also led a fourth quarter comeback, delivering a win in only his first game action since his rookie season, when he stepped in for an injured Ryan Fitzpatrick before suffering a knee injury himself.
Still, many players on the Jaguars defense were unfazed.
“We just didn’t get the picks like we had on Osweiler,” Ramsey said. “But nothing changed. All they had was field goals on us, until the last drive.”
Lamar Miller scored the game winning touchdown, a one yard plunge to cap a methodical eight play, 52 yard drive with only 2 minutes, 56 seconds left, all compliments of Savage.
Nick Novak had four field goals, and their punt return unit forced a safety after drawing a holding penalty in the end zone.
At least one Jaguars player was willing to give Savage some praise.
“He was throwing the ball very accurately,” linebacker Paul Posluszny said. “He was putting the ball in tight windows, finding his open receivers.
“You’ve gotta give a lot of credit to him, he stepped in and made throws he needed to make.”
Matt Hammond hosts Saturdays from 1-4 pm on SportsRadio 610, and fill ins during the week. You can, and totally should, follow us on Twitter @MattHammondShow.