The Road to Houston: R15

A Fan’s Notes from the Fifteenth Week of the NFL Regular Season.

The road to the Super Bowl is long, winding through 17 weeks of the regular season (R), and then a

NRG Stadium, where this week Savage replaced Osweiler

narrowed field navigates a month-long playoff tournament. Every team imagines they are on their way to Houston, host to this year’s Super Bowl . . .

Last week, some friends were talking around the breakfast table about the chances that we would soon be seeing Tony Romo playing quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. After all, rookie Dak Prescott had lost to the New York Giants again. I said, no way, those are the only two losses for the Cowboys all season, and no way head coach Jason Garrett is going to mess around with his “test pilot” quarterback.

It turns out there was a change at quarterback for an NFL team in Texas, but it was in Houston, not Dallas. In the second quarter of the Texans’ game against Jacksonville, Brock Osweiler threw his second interception (another one of those jobs where you were shaking your head and muttering, “he’s tall as a giraffe, what was he looking at?”). The next time the Texans had the ball, head coach Bill O’Brien sent in backup Tom Savage, and NRG Stadium (depicted above) went nuts. The fans had had enough of Osweiler’s Dinky Toys (depicted below).

dinky-toysSavage is no test pilot, but he’s an NFL quarterback, and that’s all you need to beat the lowly Jaguars (they fired their head coach before leaving Houston). He went 26 of 36 for 260 yards, averaging 7.2 yards per attempt (Dinky Toys Osweiler is under 6 ypa for the season). The Texans won, 21-20 (they were down 13-0 when Savage entered the game), setting up a (relatively) exciting end-of-season competition with the Tennessee Titans for the lone playoff spot from the AFC South. So, Houston coach Bill O’Brien is definitely not a test-pilot, waiting far too long before bailing out on his “chosen one” at quarterback. We really have two more weeks to see if Houston’s season crashes and burns or not.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys made no change at quarterback, and Prescott had another one of his perfectly adequate games (no interceptions, ran for a touchdown) and the Cowboys got back to winning, defeating Tampa Bay 26-20 on Sunday night.

The Good News!

Even if the Texans burn out in the playoffs, you can spend some winter days reading my book, after you take a 15% discount on the paperback format:

47767911_High Resolution Front Cover_6181606 (2)Farewell to Football? An American Fan’s Examination of Conscience. Click here to order a copy in paperback or Kindle format.

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