By: Michael Eccleston
The Houston Texans (2-0) signed young quarterback Brock Osweiler to a massive four year, 72 million dollar deal this past offseason for big Primetime games like tonight. Houston has had a running game with stars such as Arian Foster and now Lamar Miller, along with one of the better defenses in the NFL for years now led by one of the greatest defensive players ever in J.J. Watt. They’ve had solid receiving cores led by top receivers such as Andre Johnson and now DeAndre Hopkins. The Texans have had some of the best all-around teams in the league, yet they just haven’t seemed to be able to get over the hump when it’s mattered the most.
What have they been missing? Houston has always been considered to be a quarterback away from contending for a Super Bowl.
Well, now they have one. 72 million dollars is a lot of faith in a quarterback who had only started seven games and had thrown 10 touchdown passes. If Osweiler left the Broncos because he didn’t want to deal with the pressure of succeeding Hall of Fame quarterbacks such as John Elway and Peyton Manning, or the pressure of becoming the next quarterback for a team that just won the Super Bowl, well, believe it or not, he’s come to the wrong place. Whether it’s fair or not, the 25 year old is going to be under fire immediately because he’s behind center for what has been considered to be a very good football team.
This isn’t a newly up and coming team, this is a team that many have lost faith in over the last few years because they just seem like the kind of team that isn’t big enough for “the moment”. They’ve been the biggest tease in the NFL. Well, people are starting to believe that the Texans will take the next step this season because of Brock Osweiler, and if they are going to do so, they NEED Osweiler to prove that he is the guy who can take them there. Hopkins said earlier in the week that tonight’s Patriots game is just another football game. IT IS NOT. This game in New England against a banged up 2-0 Patriots team is the kind of game Houston has to win in order to be taken seriously as contenders coming out of the AFC South. It’s a statement game that “this isn’t that same first round exit team we’ve been in years past”.
This is considered a must win game for the Texans because of the fact that the Patriots are throwing third string quarterback Jacoby Brissett out there, and even if tight end Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) plays tonight, he most likely won’t be out there for every snap. And if Houston wants to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, they will need to go through New England in order to to get there, and if they can’t beat them tonight, I can only imagine what’s going to happen if they have to play a playoff game at Gillette Stadium against Tom Brady and a fully healthy Rob Gronkowski led Patriots team. I don’t care if it’s Week 3 or Week 16, this one is huge and Houston needs to capture the moment.
But, if they lose and Brock Osweiler doesn’t play well, what does that say about them? What does it say about him? Same old Texans. Overpaid Osweiler. Just not big enough for that moment.
The pressure is on.