Should the Houston Texans bench Brock Osweiler?

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 24: Quarterback Brock Osweiler
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 24: Quarterback Brock Osweiler /

After a bad performance in his return to Denver Monday night, should the Houston Texans bench Brock Osweiler?

The Houston Texans played another stand-alone national television game Monday night, and Brock Osweiler’s return to Denver did not go well in a 27-9 loss to the Broncos. Osweiler was particularly bad, going 22-for-41 for 131 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions along with two fumbles (one lost). That yardage total was the second-lowest ever for a quarterback with at least 40 pass attempts.

It’s worth noting that Osweiler still has less than a full season of NFL starts on his resume (14), and the Texans are leading a mediocre AFC South with a 4-3 record. But Pro Football Focus pointed to Osweiler’s struggles against the Broncos, including going 2-for-9 for 24 yards on throws that traveled at least 10 yards in the air. Despite only be sacked once, Osweiler struggled against Denver’s pass rush.

Osweiler has not been very good through seven games this season, and he has failed to even throw for 190 yards in two of the last three games against two top defenses (Minnesota Vikings and the Broncos). While facing very good defenses needs to be considered, Osweiler’s lackluster performance invites an obvious question-should the Texans bench him?

When considering a quarterback change, it’s pertinent to look at the other available options. So that’s what I’ll do here.

First up is Brandon Weeden, and here are his career stats.

34 games-25 starts (6-19 record)-57.9 percent completion rate, 31 touchdowns, 30 interceptions, 76.0 passer rating

And now Tom Savage.

2 career games (zero starts)-10-for-19 for 127 yards, zero touchdowns, one interception, 51.9 passer rating

Now, for comparison sake, here are Osweiler’s career numbers through Monday night’s game.

28 games-14 starts (9-5 record)-59.9 percent completion rate, 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, 79.4 passer rating

Starting with a home game against the Detroit Lions in Week 8, the schedule gets a little softer for Houston now. After a bye in Week 9, two straight road games against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders are coming before a home game against the San Diego Chargers in Week 12. Three or four wins over that stretch could put the Texans in the driver’s seat for a division title, and even if Osweiler continues to mostly struggle that’s not out of the question.

Next: NFL power rankings: Week 8

Benching a starting quarterback requires having at least the perception of a better option to replace him. Unfortunately, the Texans don’t have that right now, so barring an injury they’re stuck with Osweiler.