Last week, the Texans started off slowly before coming on at the end of the game only to lose on the final play against the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 20-14. This week, the Texans got off to a nice start, even taking a second quarter lead against the Los Angeles Rams, before getting steamrolled in the second half of a 33-7 loss.
The common theme in both of these games? A slew of Tom Savage incompletions, poor throws, and incredulous decisions, and while Savage was merely somewhat awful against the Colts, on Sunday against the Rams, he was next level horrific, committing four turnovers, including the first two interceptions of his career. His performance against the Rams yesterday actually made his performance versus the Colts appear passable (when it was, in actuality, not in the same universe as passable).
So ten quarters into the Tom Savage Era, one thing has become abundantly clear — the Tom Savage Era must end. It must end right now. Not tomorrow, not after breakfast, NOW. A week ago Tom Savage couldn't win you an NFL football game, but he could theoretically avoid losing one. Yesterday, he actively LOST the Texans a game that was imminently winnable for a little more than a half.
Let's look at winners and losers from yesterday....
4. Robert Woods
If you're looking for a play where this game was essentially put on ice by the Rams, look no further than Woods' 94-yard touchdown catch and run on a straight go route early in the third quarter. Woods just ran straight up the field, Johnathan Joseph had no safety help, and the next thing you know the Rams are up 16-7, two score game, game over.
Woods was a major signing for the Rams this offseason, as he got to return to the city and stadium where he played college ball. Hell, even without the stats this year, merely signing a deal to move out of Buffalo and on to Los Angeles would be enough to include Woods among the winners.
3. Jared Goff
Speaking of life getting better in 2017, how about Goff? He rebounded from a slow start in the game to finish with 355 yards passing and three touchdowns. Most importantly, he protected the football and didn't give the Texans any easy layups from a field position standpoint. Sean McVay has done a remarkable job getting Goff to play to the level where you;d expect a No. 1 overall pick to play in his sophomore year in the league.
Jared Goff's passing chart vs HOU.— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) November 13, 2017
Mostly short throws with a few important, and positive, downfield plays. pic.twitter.com/z7xeW4yqqD
2. DeAndre Hopkins fantasy owners
If there is one bright spot for the Texans (and believe me, there aren't many more than just a few), it's that Hopkins continues to put up numbers even with Savage as his quarterback. Sunday, he had seven catches for 111 yards, and probably the best part about his game right now is that Hopkins is giving the team at least a couple catches in each game where you say "Wow, there are only a few guys who could make that play," In other words, he is playing to the level of his gargantuan contract this offseason, statistically and aesthetically.
1. Sean McVay
His team is 7-2, he is 31 years old, he is a multimillionaire, and this is his girlfriend ....
Rams Coach Sean McVay with Ukrainian Girlfriend Veronika Khomyn. pic.twitter.com/wjNvrzJP42— Don Benson (@LaCostaDon) September 26, 2017
Yeah, it's pretty good to be Sean McVay right about now.
4. The Texans' offensive line
One of the more laughable storylines of the Deshaun Watson tenure as the starting quarterback, in retrospect, was that the offensive line had improved with him under center. The truth is that Watson's mobility masked the existing issues along that offensive line, and now that Savage is back under center, this offensive line looks a lot like the one that got its head handed to it the first couple games of the season, before Watson became an unstoppable, self-aware quarterback Transformer. Any offseason roster work begins with this group. Left to right, the line right now is Chris Clark, Xavier Su'a-FIlo, Nick Martin, Jeff Allen, and Breno Giacomini. Four of those five need to be benched or gone by Week 1 of next season. Nick Martin can stay, that's it.
3. This poor bastard on the Broncos' sideline
Brock Osweiler couldn't hit this guy in the face again if you gave him 100 tries.....
Brock Osweiler just drilled some poor guy in the head pic.twitter.com/jXte8EX7NQ— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) November 13, 2017
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2. Jeff Fisher
Last season, the Rams two quarterbacks were Case Keenum and Jared Goff. Respectively, they had a 76.4 and a 63.6 passer rating. That was during Jeff Fisher's final season as the Rams' head coach. This season, with McVay and McVay's hot girlfriend in charge, Keenum and Goff have passer ratings of 88.4 and 97.9, respectively. More importantly, their teams have a combined record of 14-4. Meanwhile, Fisher is probably still somewhere, "shocked" that he got fired....
1. Tom Savage
Here is where I am with Tom Savage. He is a really terrible NFL quarterback, and if he were a rookie or a developmental project, I could be more patient with mistakes and tolerate him starting more games. However, he is not a rookie nor a developmental project. In fact, he is probably going to be part of this organization for seven more games and that's it. Savage is not going to get any better. He's been with the team for four years, and if anything, he is going backwards. He has a mind boggling seven turnovers in ten quarters of play. Savage stinks, and I blame him for stinking. He should not start one more game for this team. Up to now, all blame is on Savage for sucking. However, going forward, I will place any blame for Savage massacring the Texans' chances on Bill O'Brien for trotting Savage out there. We now know what Tom Savage is. T.J. Yates needs to be given a chance.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.