HOUSTON — For at least one week longer, Brock Osweiler kept the wolves at bay.

The Houston Texans quarterback delivered just enough productivity to lead the way to a 26-23 overtime victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night at NRG Stadium and showcase the fortitude that some loudly questioned.

One play into the fourth quarter, the Texans trailed 20-9 and Osweiler had performed miserably, completing just half of his 22 attempts for 89 yards. His interception on the penultimate play of the third quarter, yet another pass thrown behind his favorite target, DeAndre Hopkins, delivered possession back to the Colts at the Texans 21-yard line and seemingly greased the skids to another ugly defeat.

However, after the Colts extended the lead to 23-9, Osweiler discovered something. Texans coach Bill O’Brien was succinct in describing the change — “We called plays that he likes, and he executed them with his teammates.” Perhaps it was that simple.

By maintaining his poise in the huddle, despite the adversity of his poor showing and the boos raining down from the disgruntled home crowd, Osweiler showed that he wouldn’t crack under pressure. He led the Texans to a 17-0 blitz to close the game and went 14 of 17 for 180 yards and two scores during that stretch.

“Brock never changes one bit,” said Texans receiver Jaelen Strong, whose 36-yard reception put Houston in position to win in overtime. “It wasn’t a fourth-quarter thing. Brock is the same way 24/7. He believes in us, and we believe in him.”

Externally there was some eroding in that belief in Osweiler, who is guaranteed $37 million over the next two seasons after signing as a free agent from the Denver Broncos in March. He entered Sunday with a 70.6 passer rating, 31st in the league, and his eighth interception of the season Sunday resembled many others and seemed to signal a stalled signal-caller.

However, on a day when a report surfaced that he and O’Brien clashed during game preparation last week, Osweiler found a measure of redemption. He was flawed early and fabulous late, an uneven performance that means those fickle outsiders will wait for the next set of miscues to decry his position as the Texans’ starter.

“I just hope people understand the struggles we’ve had aren’t due to a lack of preparation or a lack of confidence,” Osweiler said. “I understand there’s been some frustrating moments, but this team showed a lot of heart tonight, and I hope people saw that as well.”



Source link

About The Author