After Brock Osweiler authored yet another clunker for the Houston Texans – he was 22-of-41 for 131 yards in a 27-9 loss to the Denver Broncos on Monday night – it’s officially time for Texans fans to worry. But is it too early to label Osweiler, 25, a bust?
“Oh, certainly,” Mile High Sports 104.7 and SB Nation radio host Shawn Drotar said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Absolutely, I think it’s far too soon to say that. You’re talking about a guy adjusting to a new system, a new team, his first year as a starter – I think it’s far too early to do that. But if you’re a Texans fan, you’re concerned about a few things. Osweiler maybe faced a perfect storm – a team that nows him better than anybody – but there are concerns. You look at his height – that should be a tremendous advantage, but he throws it sidearm, neutralizing that height advantage. He also tends, mechanically, to throw the ball with the tip of the ball pointed down, which causes it to sink. You see that here and there when Osweiler is off-kilter a little bit or when he’s rushed. You see those balls tend to fall short of his receivers. That’s become a problem, too.”
Osweiler has been fairly terrible this season. He’s competing just 58.2 percent of his passes for an average of 219 passing yards per game. He also has just eight touchdowns in seven games.
Those numbers must improve.
Denver’s defense, meanwhile, was unflappable, forcing two early three-and-outs and limiting the Texans to just three field goals on the night.
“It was enormous,” Drotar said of the early stops. “Five out of the six Broncos opponents had scored on their first drive this season. The only other team that didn’t, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, scored on their second. This is not what the Denver Broncos have been used to with their defense. We know they lost a couple guys, but I don’t think many people expected the Broncos defense to drop off all that much – and the truth is, it hasn’t, but they’ve had these sort of blips. So in this case they worked very, very hard to make sure thy came out with a little more fire. They got chewed out more than a bit after Gary Kubiak came back from his health scare. I think the Broncos came out with renewed interest on defense. Plus they really did know Brock Osweiler. They know him as well as anyone. Chris Harris, after the game, said, ‘We knew that if we took away his first option, he gets kind of jittery.’ I think you saw that. I think Harris was spot on, and I think it showed. Osweiler looked concerned about avoiding sacks and not throwing the type of game-ending interception.”
Trevor Siemian, on the other hand, found Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas on 10 of his 14 completions, and the running game was unstoppable, with C.J. Anderson and Devonate Booker rushing for 190 yards and two touchdowns.
As efficient as the offense looked, however, Drotar expects it to be inconsistent all season.
“I think Trevor Siemian will continue to get a little bit better,” he said. “They’re not asking him to do a lot. If you remember the championship that the Ravens won with Trent Dilfer, I think that’s what the Broncos are sort of hoping for from Trevor Siemian. Just don’t give the game away. He played very effectively tonight. . . . But the Broncos’ offense absolutely has a ceiling. This is not Peyton Manning’s offense from a few years ago. Not that it was in Peyton Manning’s final season, but it was enough to get them to the Super Bowl, and the Broncos intend on following that same plan. Don’t make mistakes, keep it close, make teams go 75 or 80 yards against the Broncos’ D all game long, and you’ll like your chances in what’s probably going to be a lot more close games than you’re comfortable with.”