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Why did the Houston Texans turn to Ryan Mallett?

The Houston Texans turned to Ryan Mallett as their starting quarterback this week after watching Brian Hoyerflounder for less than four quarters of the 2015 season.

Mallett entered the game last week and sparked the Texans to two scoring drives, albeit against a more lax Kansas City defense.

Speaking on NFL Network's GameDay First Sunday morning, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport hit on several key reasons coach Bill O'Brien made the switch to Mallett:

  1. The Texans loved the spark Mallett brought into the game last week, including the touchdown drive.

Rapoport noted that the locker room supported the quick quarterback change after seeing how Mallett threw the ball in Week 1.

  1. Mallett impressed the Texans with the way he handled losing the starting gig during training camp and being disciplined for missing a day of practice when he overslept. The team believes he responded like a pro, per RapSheet, continuing to prepare like a starter and staying ready for when his chance came.
  1. Bad plays doomed Hoyer, who took four sacks, threw a pick and had a fumble in the opener. The team believes Mallett will help eliminate those negative situations. The Texans know their defense, led by J.J. Watt, will keep them in games, they just need the offense to not put them in bad situations like it did Week 1.

I'll add one more notable stat to Rapoport's report on why Mallett starting could play dividends for the Texans' offense (and fantasy football owners):

Mallett targeted stud receiver DeAndre Hopkins at a higher rate than Hoyer in Week 1. Hopkins caught five passes for 59 yards and a touchdown on Mallett's two fourth-quarter drives (38.5 percent of the targets). With Hoyer in the game, Hopkins caught four passes on eight targets for 39 yards and a TD (24.2 percent of Hoyer's targets).

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