Houston Texans – Orange County Register

For the second time this season, an AFC South quarterback won’t make it to the Coliseum.

The Houston Texans’ playoff chances took a devastating hit last week when rookie Deshaun Watson tore his ACL in practice. The Texans turned to veteran backup Tom Savage last week, and the results were mostly dreadful, as they scored one offensive touchdown in a loss to a bad Indianapolis team.

By all accounts, the Texans are staying with Savage on Sunday, when they face the Rams, who hope that the results will be similar to the last time they faced a team with a backup quarterback. In the Sept. 10 season opener, the Colts arrived with Scott Tolzien and lost to the Rams 46-9. A similar fate could be in store for the Texans if Savage doesn’t show marked improvement this week.

“Tom knows our offense well,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said in a Tuesday conference call. “Tom knows that he needs to play better, we need to keep working together to get him to play better. All of us can do better – I can coach better, players can play better, and that’s what has to happen. We have to play fast and have to play with a better rhythm, and we’ve got to play better on first and second down.”

Houston seemed to have found something special in Watson, the No. 12 overall pick of this year’s draft out of Clemson, who passed for 400 yards and four touchdowns against Seattle a few days before his injury.

Savage started this season’s opener but got pulled for Watson at halftime. Savage also started the final two games of the 2016 season, including a victory over Cincinnati.


Consistency, but not exactly excellence, has been the model for O’Brien, who arrived from Penn State before the 2014 seasons and has guided the Texans to 9-7 records in each of his first three seasons. O’Brien’s Texans won the AFC South in 2015 and 2016 but lost their first playoff game both years, but now Houston is 3-5 and two games behind Tennessee and…

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