The Houston Texans made a big gamble in the offseason when they offered Brock Osweiler a four year $72 million dollar contract with $37 million of that fully guaranteed despite Osweiler having started just seven games in his NFL career to that point. So far, that gamble hasn’t exactly worked out.
After a rough first half against the Jaguars on Sunday, the Texans benched Osweiler in favor of career backup Tom Savage. Osweiler has completed just 59.6% of his passes for 2,704 yards 14 touchdowns and 16 interceptions this year. That performance has left the organization wondering what to do about the guy they tabbed as a franchise QB in the offseason.
“I looked into Osweiler’s play and he doesn’t make that many horrendous decisions even though he’s one pick away from leading the league in interceptions,” said Pro Football Focus writer Sam Monson on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence show. “We record turnover-worthy plays, the plays that are graded in the bottom section of our grading system and there’s half a dozen guys that have more of those per snap than Osweiler does this year. His problem is just the total lack of anything to offset those. Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Palmer are high on that list as well. You can be a good quarterback and make a lot of bad throws, but you have to make a lot of good ones as well to make up for it and Osweiler just doesn’t”
“There’s no significant positives to his game. He doesn’t push the ball deep down the field, he doesn’t make plays with his guys. He’s got playmakers there at this point. Hopkins had a fantastic season with a sequence of terrible quarterbacks, so it’s not like he doesn’t have history of being able to dig out a poorly performing passer and they’ve added weaponry there in the offseason. They just haven’t seen anything from him (Osweiler) to suggest that he can be that guy and that was always the big concern with him.”
While Osweiler hasn’t exactly lived up to the expectations set for him after signing his contract, there are multiple guys who have performed at a very high level this year that are making the MVP-race a bit more difficult to decide. Patriots QB Tom Brady, Falcons QB Matt Ryan, and Raiders QB Derek Carr have all staked their claim to the award at various points this season. So, which guy has Sam’s vote right now?
“MVP is so tough in the NFL because you have to define that value thing,” said Monson. “Tom Brady would be leading it in any other year, but we saw them win games without Tom Brady. I find it tough to look beyond the season that Matt Ryan has had. I think he’s had a great year. He’s led that offense, he’s made it look really good but Derek Carr would be another guy that’s right up there.”
Conspicuously absent from that list is Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott, who leads the league in rushing this year. Elliott does benefit from the league’s best offensive line, so is that why he’s not under consideration for Monson?
“I don’t see how you can assign who gets the credit in that Dallas offense,” said Monson. “I think all of them work together, the offensive line, the quarterback, the running back, none of those things are as good without the other part in there.