Here is a neat, one-play summary of how Brock Osweiler’s return to Denver went.
The Texans QB was booed as soon as he took the field tonight, and the Broncos’ terrifying defense spent the entire game getting after him and shutting him down. After a rather tense goodbye over the summer, Osweiler’s former teammates all hugged him and talked to him after the game, but they did everything they could to keep him out of the end zone and harry him. They only sacked Osweiler once and never picked him off, but more importantly, they never let him get comfortable, which was the goal. As Aqib Talib said, they made a point of trying to hit Osweiler a bunch.
Osweiler managed just 131 yards despite tossing the second-most passes of the season. He had at least two balls batted down by Derek Wolfe, and his very first throw should have been a pick-six. Anytime the Texans tried to air it out, DeAndre Hopkins or Will Fuller found themselves amidst a thicket of defenders who always ended up closer to picking it off than giving up a big play. His longest completion was for 12 yards. That play up top there, where Osweiler just sort of loses it, was ruled a fumble after a video review, and it’s indicative of the sad, limp night Osweiler had. His 3.2 yards per pass attempt on 41 throws made for a particularly futile sort of historic outing.
The good news is the Texans play in the AFC South, which sucks, and they never have to play a pass defense nearly as airtight as Denver’s for the rest of the season. Their offense is uninspiring, but it might be good enough.
But “good enough” is not what you want after shelling out big money for a quarterback in the offseason. Reading too much into Osweiler’s performance tonight alone would be a mistake, but while he’s won four games this year, he’s also been very bad in three of his team’s four games against teams with winning records. The Texans have a pair of very good receivers, but Osweiler’s had a hard time synching up with them. It’s clear that he’s better than the pile of crap the Texans fielded at QB last year, but the degree to which that’s true is murky.