The Houston Texans are heading back to the playoffs for the second consecutive season as AFC South champions. Houston’s 12-10 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 16 secured them a fourth postseason berth in six years.
1. You can’t keep Tom Savage down for long. Once the Bengals subjected Houston to a deficit of over three points, the promoted quarterback turned it on, leading the Texans‘ only touchdown drive of the game in just over two minutes to put Houston ahead for good. Savage’s first half was historically terrible (2/7, 13 yds, 3 sacks), and he often looked more like his predecessor, Brock Osweiler, in the pocket, resorting to dump offs to running backs and C.J. Fiedorowicz. But the playbook opened up for Savage in the second half when the Texans went to a no-huddle offense. Savage was more comfortable, making some clutch throws in a collapsing pocket. Most importantly, he targeted star wideout DeAndre Hopkins five times down the stretch, connective for three catches and 43 yards. Houston has found its formula with January approaching: Hurry and Hopkins.
2. Savage will be the guy going forward, but how should Houston handle the QB position next week at Tennessee? What looked to be the game of the week is now an all-but-meaningless contest, what with the Titans eliminated and Marcus Mariota injured. Would Bill O’Brien consider playing both Savage and Osweiler next week, so to at least avoid injury to his preferred starter? We’ve learned this week that, heading into the postseason, you can never be too careful with your QB1.
Around the NFL will more on this game shortly.