Is there a return policy for quarterbacks? Because that’s what Bill O’Brien has got to be thinking right about now, after watching Brock Osweiler go three-yards and a cloud of dust with the Texans passing game.
Osweiler couldn’t have looked or played any worse than he did last night in his first return to Denver.
And Bronco fan, I know you’re bent because the team spent years grooming and developing him as the heir apparent, only to see him unexpectedly bounce and chase the jack with the Texans. But just be glad he did. Instead of booing him, you should be thanking him. His bolting saved the Broncos from making a huge mistake. And saved them a ton of jack.
Because right now, he’s nothing more than a tall Ryan Tannehill… I’m not saying Trevor Siemian went legend last night. But he did outplay Osweiler, got the win and did exactly what the Broncos needed him to do. Namely make a play or two, not do anything stupid to cost them the game, and let the defense and the running game do most of the work.
In Siemian, the Broncos are getting exactly what they paid for. He’s making less than a mill this year so they’re not looking for him to win games by himself for them; they’re just looking for him not to lose games.
Osweiler, though, is a different deal altogether. The Texans are paying him $18 mill per year. So they are looking for him to win games, and elevate everyone around him. And he’s not doing either of those things.
Hell, Captain Checkdown really isn’t doing jack. Except dumping it off. So far, he’s nowhere near the guy the Texans thought he would be. Hell, he’s nowhere near even what Brian Hoyer was for them last year.
The Broncos are a helluva lot better off without him and Osweiler would have been much better off staying where he was. Instead, he bittered up when the team went back to Peyton Manning, which was the right move, and thought he was much better than he actually is and chased the jack.
Look, I’ll never crack a guy for trying to get as much as he can; I would. You would. But more jack doesn’t’ always equal a better situation, because Houston obviously isn’t that. He’s probably wishing he didn’t do that now, just as you know the Texans regret guaranteeing him all that jack.
The Broncos defense held Osweiler to just 131 yards passing on 41 attempts. That’s 3.2 yards a throw. Under 4 yards a throw! Ryan Mallet can do that. Hell, I think I can do that.
Investing early picks on receivers like Will Fuller, Braxton Miller and Jaelen Strong, and pairing them with DeAndre Hopkins was supposed to give Osweiler the weapons he needed to compete for a Super Bowl. But right now, there’s nothing about this guy that says Super Bowl.
Instead he’s been the problem — playing brutal football in losses to New England, Minnesota and Denver — big games that you expect your big money quarterback to not only show up for, but to win. And he hasn’t.
This is going to get really messy. Because you don’t throw that kind of jack at a guy like that, and miss that badly, without consequences. We saw those shots up to the owner’s booth where Bob McNair sat next to GM Rick Smith and nobody made eye contact. It felt like two dudes standing at stadium urinals. But Smith gave Osweiler that cash and O’Brien signed off on it — handpicking Osweiler because of clutch performances and big throws he made against the Texans last year.
If there’s a silver lining in all of this and there really isn’t, it’s that the Texans play in the AFC South — a division that may not be much better than The SEC West. Then again, they didn’t bring this guy in to win the division, they brought him and backed up the brinks truck and surrounded him with talent to win the Super Bowl. Something he’s never going to sniff.
And while I’ve given John Elway huge props for the job he’s done there and the moves he’s made, he doesn’t get credit for this one. He tried to re-sign Osweiler. He wanted him back. But Osweiler didn’t want to be there. And lucky for Elway he didn’t.
Maybe he’ll improve going forward but it’s already clear Houston didn’t get what they thought they would with this guy. Namely a franchise QB who gives them a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl. I think we already seen enough of him to know that’s not going to happen.