Community Tailgate: Texans QB Situation

With the NFL season underway, we have a whole new series of topics to discuss, and PFR’s Community Tailgate is designed to address those topics. What’s the Community Tailgate all about? Well, it’s pretty simple. Every weekday, we’ll highlight one of the top stories going on in the NFL. Then, in the comment section below, we want you to weigh in and let us know what you think.

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Despite lacking a franchise-caliber quarterback last year, the Texans finished 9-7 and nearly made their first trip to the playoffs since 2012. The team responded in the offseason by trading Ryan Fitzpatrick to the Jets for a conditional late-round pick. Fitzpatrick started 12 games, completed over 63 percent of passes, and threw 17 touchdowns against eight interceptions in 2014. The 32-year-old is career journeyman who has never been a world-beater, but he did fare respectably enough last season to rank as Pro Football Focus’ (subscription required) 12th-best QB out of 28 signal callers who played at least 50 percent of their teams’ offensive snaps.

To replace Fitzpatrick, Houston made a couple of two-year signings: They added free agent Brian Hoyer on a deal worth $4.75MM guaranteed, and re-signed Ryan Mallett for $7MM. Neither was on Fitzpatrick’s level in 2014. As a member of the Browns, Hoyer started 13 games, ranked 24th out of PFF’s 28 qualifying QBs and also put up worse traditional numbers than Fitzpatrick (55.3 completion rate, 12 TDs, 13 INTs). Mallett amassed similarly uninspiring stats in three games with Houston, completing 54.7 percent of passes and averaging a meager 5.3 yards per attempt.

Hoyer and Mallett competed during the summer for the starting job – a battle that Hoyer won. However, his stay atop Houston’s QB depth chart didn’t last long. After going 18 of 34 for 236 yards, a score and a pick in Week 1, head coach Bill O’Brien pulled Hoyer in favor of Mallett in the Texans’ 27-20 loss to the Chiefs. Mallett fared well in relief (8 of 13, 98 yards and a TD). That was enough for O’Brien to name Mallett the team’s starter for this Sunday’s game against the Panthers.

While the season is only a week old, it appears QB is primed to weigh down a fairly talented Texans team in 2015. With that in mind, did the organization handle the position properly during the offseason? Instead of Hoyer and/or Mallett, should they have signed a different free agent? Were they wrong to jettison Fitzpatrick, who is now the Jets’ starter and turned in a solid opening week performance? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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9 comments on “Community Tailgate: Texans QB Situation

  1. Grayson Berry

    Retarded. That’s essentially how Bob McNair and Rick Smith have behaved in regard to constructing a competitive on-field product. Does anyone realize that the Texans are the only pro football franchise never to have a top QB or Coach? Do you need either if you’re selling out every game and merch is still flying off the shelves? Exactly. However, for the sake of conversation, how about taking a flier on RG3 while we’re playing the ‘chase our tails’ until we’re bad enough to draft a franchise QB game. Idiots

    • CZForce

      Bill O’brien is one of the best HC’s in FB Period! College or Pro! They just need to Focus on Drafting a talented QB,& let Billy O. do his job! He’s one of the best Coaches in the NFL in terms of developing Field Generals! The Houston Texans aren’t too far away from Contending for World Championship’s,& this is a legitimate argument. But it’s unfair to compare the rest of the Roster or it’s Coaches to how the QB Position has turned out in the Texan’s short NFL History! They have 2 of the most talented Defensive Players in the League, w/ONE of them being a 1st Ballot HOF playing in his Prime in Watt! The QB is the Final piece of the puzzle! They could be Contenders w/1 good Draft & a good development year out of 2nd & 3rd year players! #Go Packers!!

  2. Chase

    Honestly it will depend on how this weekend ends. It felt different when Mallett was in the game, even if KC was running vanilla defensive plays. If he is inaccurate and attempts to thread the needle without caution and fails to make the short and intermediate throws which has plagued him his short career, the Texans are in trouble. But you can’t deny he brings a bit of hope and momentum into an offense missing a its center piece. And Duane Brown missing the game is not a good thing for anyone.

  3. Jeff

    I believe Mallet is who they wanted to win the qb job, but his immaturity (alarm clock problem ) was ultimately what lead to Hoyer winning it. Hopefully he has corrected it.

    • RP McMurphy

      The “alarm clock” situation happened the morning after he was informed he didn’t win the starting job. Bo’B made a mistake on who he picked to start game 1, simple as that. At least he’s rectifying that.

  4. Juliene

    I really like mallet. Strong arm. Only concern is accuracy and lack of experience. I really feel obrian rushed the qb choice. Maybe he was feeling pressure from everyone wanting a decision made. I hope mallet can at least go out and win us games. I wouldn’t have minded keeping fitz honestly.

    • CZForce

      Or he knows the Starting QB talent needed isn’t on this Roster! The people on this Thread need to give Respect to the fact that Bill O’Brien is TRULY 1 of the Best QB Coaches anywhere! He’ll develop a QB when he get’s 1 that has the right stuff! This Fan Base should exercise patience, because they aren’t that far away from being a Legit Contender!

  5. CZForce

    I’m a Packer Fan and I remember what its like to have a Crappy QB, but its been 24 years! Funny thing is that G.B. has 3 Starting Caliber Talents at QB on their current Roster! They have All Universe Aaron Rodgers, who’ll be the Starter till he retires or his arm falls off! Then we have Scott Tolzien(27), who is done developing and is ready to be a Starter in this League! There’s absolutely NO DOUBT, that Tolzien is better(RIGHT NOW) than more than 2/3’s of the Signal Caller’s in the NFL! That’s NOT LIP SERVICE EITHER, IT’S REAL TALK! The Packers cold have Traded Tolzien to someone like the Jets, who have 3 Starting DT’s for 2 jobs! Thompson might have given up Tolzien, cuz Aaron’s UNTOUCHABLE and TT will NEVER trade a young asset he’s just Drafted! Hundley is the Real Deal Too, and he’s gonna fetch the Packers a 1st Round pick someday! #ITWT!!

  6. phillyroller

    All I can say is Hoyer proved he couldn’t get it done as a starter he is however a competent back up. Mallet should get a seasons worth of playing time to see if he’s the real deal. Physically he is the man.worst case scenario the Texans draft a qb in the first round.

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