Tom Savage is real and so are the third-year quarterback's chances of taking over the starting job for a team in the playoff race. Once believed to be a fictional creation of the Draft Industrial Complex, Savage took over for Osweiler in the second quarter Sunday after two early interceptions by Osweiler against the Jaguars. The Texans trailed 13-0 at the time of Osweiler's benching and Savage eventually helped the Texans pull off a 21-20 comeback victory.
"I think we've got three really talented quarterbacks here -- I really do," O'Brien said after the game. You can call B.S. on that, you can say whatever you want. I think we have a really talented quarterback room and we don't make decisions on how much a guy gets paid. We make decisions on what's the best way to win a game and that was the decision we made today and I thought today it worked out okay."
While Osweiler was handed a monster $72 million contract in the offseason to solve the Texans' quarterback woes, this benching could be permanent. It's hard to imagine the Texans going back to Osweiler after Savage completed 23 of 36 passes for 260 yards on Sunday. Most importantly, he didn't turn the ball over.
While Savage showed some downfield capability, Osweiler has been one of the worst starting quarterbacks in football all season. Savage also showed promise in the preseason. After the game, O'Brien wouldn't commit to which quarterback will start on Christmas Eve night against the Bengals.
"We are always gonna make decisions in the best interests of the team and we'll regroup here tonight, we've got a short week and we'll make decisions on any starter that we have, we make decisions on that every week," O'Brien said.
The Texans can essentially get out of Osweiler's contract after two years, so it's hard to see them cutting ties with him before the 2017 season. Next year's quarterback plan is a problem for another time, though. The Texans are 8-6 and in a playoff race and O'Brien decided his best chance to win Sunday's game was with Savage. We'd be surprised if Osweiler starts again this season.