On Sunday vs. the Green bay Packers Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler performed much better than he did vs. the San Diego Chargers; this was not a tough act to follow for Osweiler as he threw 3 interceptions in the that game as the Texans fell to San Diego 21-13. Even though they lost to the Packers as well, Osweiler’s improvement is a good sign for Texans fans and the coaching staff as they can now take comfort in the fact that their quarterback has the ability to lead the offense.
In today’s article we will breakdown Osweiler’s performance between the 1st and 2nd half, find out what he did well, and find out what he needs to improve on. Since Brock Osweiler spent his first 3 seasons with the Denver Broncos, he will not be graded on a curve for playing in the snow.
With the Texans receiving the ball first Osweiler had a chance to give the Texans the first lead of the game. Facing an elite group of pass rushers in Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, and Julius Peppers, it was imperative that Osweiler improved his passing accuracy and his decision making. On the first two plays from scrimmage, it is apparent that Osweiler was uncomfortable with throwing the football; instead of dropping back to pass, he chose to tuck the ball and scramble for yardage instead. His efforts running the ball were not in vain, as we was able to pick 11 yards and a first down. After a short run and an inerrant pass from Brock, the offense faced its first 3rd down situation of the game. Playing it safe, Osweiler throws it short to tight end Ryan Griffin. While the throw was smart and accurate it proves to be disastrous as Griffin fumbles the ball and the ball falls into the hands of the defense.
Fortunately for the Texans defense, the Green Bay Packers had trouble with handling the ball as well; quarterback Aaron Rodgers fumbled the ball and the defense was able to recover the ball inside the 10 yard line. While the defense was able to produce a turnover, Osweiler had very little room to operate and was unable to complete a pass on 3rd and long. On the 3rd drive of the game Osweiler is able to show off his running ability and run for an 11 yard game to convert a 3rd down. Unfortunately shortly after the offense found themselves in a position where the attempted to convert a 4th down by handing the ball off to Alfred Blue but came up short. This turnover gave Green Bay the momentum it needed to take the ball down the field and score the first points of the game to make it 7-0. The next three offensive drives in this half showed promise but still led to Osweiler being sacked or having one of his receivers drop a pass.
After a quick 3 and out for Green Bay that was forced by the Texans defense, Osweiler was able to put together his best performance of the day. With a combination of running the ball and quick passes downfield he was able he was able to get the team into the redzone. 4th and 1 pass play to Ryan Griffin finally put the Texans on the board and tied the game 7-7. On the next two drives mistakes plague the offense; Deandre Hopkins drops a pass on 3rd down from Osweiler and a poor deskin to throw the ball under pressure and behind the line of scrimmage led to an insurmountable loss of yardage. By this time the Packers are holding a 21-7 lead. On the 4th drive of the game, Osweiler comes back to life, and he’s able to connect on several passes downfield. On this drive, he ends up finding Deandre Hopkins for a 44 yard touchdown pass. After the PAT is missed, the Texans attempt an onside kick, which falls into the hands of Green Bay. By the time the offense gets the ball back, there is less than 30 seconds on the clock and the offense went into Rugby style attack to lateral the ball downfield. The offensive plan fails and the game ends with another Houston defeat.
There are a lot of positives to take away from Osweilers performance on Sunday. The first is that he didn’t turn the ball over; this was very important since he is coming off a game where he turned it over 3 times. He also utilized his legs very well by tucking and running it several times to keep drives going in the game.
Two things that Brock needs to work on is his accuracy and decision making. Osweiler had 62% completion ratio, and while his receivers had two drops there were still a few passes that he one-hopped to his receivers. While he didn’t throw an interception this game, there were a few passes that could have been picked off if the weather was a little bit better. Also, in the 2nd half, Osweiler threw a pass to his running back led to a huge loss. While it’s important to try and make plays under pressure, it’s also crucial that you don’t do anything to jeopardize the team.
Final Grade: B-
In a division match-up vs. the Colts, it’s important that Osweiler gets started early. He has already proven that he has the tools to make plays; it’s now up to him to put them to good use in order for the offense to succeed. If Lamar Miller ends up not being able to play this game, additional pressure will be on Brock to get the ball moving through the air. If he can’t I wouldn’t be surprised if he tucks the ball and runs against this defense. Whatever he chooses to do, it’s important that he is smart with the ball and gives his offense the best chance to win.