There are bad days, and then there was Brian Hoyer’s.
In the Houston Texans 30-0 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Wild Card, Hoyer threw four interceptions and lost a fumble. He had a 15.9 passer rating, becoming only the fourth QB in NFL playoff history to do so.
Yet, head coach Bill O’Brien said he never considered pulling him.
“I just felt like sticking with him was the right thing to do,” he said. “The best thing for us in this game was to stick with him. I had named him the starter, and with the game plan and the amount of reps (backup QB) Brandon (Weeden) had gotten during the week, which was basically nil, I thought the right thing to do was to stick with Hoyer.”
O’Brien apparently didn’t feel the same way after the first time these teams met, and benched Hoyer in favor of Ryan Mallett, who went 1-4 as a starter before being unceremoniously released from the team.
O’Brien later said it was a mistake.
On Saturday, the game was in reach well into the second half. Kansas City only led by 13 points until there was 4:35 remaining in the third quarter, when quarterback Alex Smith found wide receiver Chris Conley for six.
Weeden, signed off waivers in November, said he started warming up in the third quarter. He won his only start, a 34-6 waxing of the Tennessee Titans two weeks ago, and stepped in after T.J. Yates went out with injury against the Indianapolis Colts, en route to the franchise’s first road win against their division rival all-time. Overall, Weeden had 61.9 percent rate with three touchdowns and no interceptions and averaged 7.3 yards per attempt.
But Hoyer, who went 15 of 34 for 136 yards, was allowed to finish the game.
“I think you have to look at the whole picture,” O’Brien said. “I don’t know if you can just put it on one guy. Did he make mistakes? No question about it. But I think it’s a combination of a lot of different things, starting with coaching. We have to coach it better. I think everybody just had to do better. We just weren’t doing well enough. But I felt like at that time, during the whole game, I was going to stick with Brian.”
Hoyer, who went 15 of 32 for said he wasn’t surprised he didn’t get pulled.
“No, I mean, I’m the quarterback of this team,” he said. “I fought my way back to play out here. I didn’t want to be coming out of that game. I think those guys that were playing out there deserve from me to finish that game. We’ve put a lot of work in this year and as bad as it was going, I wasn’t going to come out of that game. A lot of guys had put a lot of work in, and for me to cop out I think would show lack of being a man and lack of leadership.”
O’Brien was non-committal when asked if Hoyer will start in 2016.
“The game just ended,” O’Brien said. “Every year is different. 2016 will be nothing like 2015 based on our schedule, our team, free agency, the draft. I mean, every year is different and I have no idea what 2016 will look like five minutes after the game ends.”
Follow Matt Hammond on Twitter @MattHammondShow