By Nick Shook
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In fact, despite constant snowfall, Osweiler had one of his better games, completing 22 of 35 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns. Bob McNair wants to make sure real recognizes real.
“I thought he played great,” the Texans owner said of Osweiler, via the Houston Chronicle. “He played as well as his competitor did. If not for the passes that were dropped, his grade would have been higher than (Packers quarterback Aaron) Rodgers. Don’t be critical of him. He played well.”
Well, it’s great to know that as the franchise’s latest major investment, you still have the support of the owner. But for much of the season, the constant theme of the struggling but contending Texans has been the stagnant, seemingly handcuffed offense that begins and often ends with Osweiler. Don’t take it from us; take it from Houston Chronicle beat writer John McClain.
So this adds intrigue to McNair’s praise and what reads as a plea, if not a command when the owner said “Don’t be critical of him.” The reason behind the statement (and the madness) is simple: Houston sunk $72 million into Osweiler in the offseason with the hopes the former understudy to Peyton Manning could be the Texans‘ franchise quarterback. He’s been less than that — slow-footed in the pocket, errant on passes short and long, and much less than the big-armed passer Houston imagined it was getting in free agency.
The stats don’t look too bad: 260 of 435, 2,509 yards, 14 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 22 sacks taken, five fumbles, passer rating of 74.2. That’s pedestrian.
But the film isn’t as pleasant. An even worse look is the team’s owner fighting to keep his quarterback’s name out of the mud, placing blame on receivers who dropped passes in the snow in the aftermath of a loss while the team remains at least tied for the division lead. The Osweiler camp, with McNair at the helm, should hope the rest of the AFC South continues its mediocre run. With three of the Texans‘ final four games coming against division opponents, it’s their best hope.