The Houston Texans defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 21 – 20 after a solid performance from backup QB Tom Savage. Head Coach Bill O’Brien made the call to bench starting QB Brock Osweiler after he threw two costly interceptions on back-to-back drives.
“I just felt like that was the best decision at that point in time for the team,” O’Brien said. “We don’t make decisions on how much a guy gets paid. We make decisions on what’s the best way to win a game. That was the decision we made today and I thought today, it worked out OK.”
It worked out more than okay. Savage stepped up to task of protecting the ball while orchestrating the Texans’ best passing game of the season. In less than three quarters of play, Savage finished 23 of 36 for 260 yards. Not bad considering this was his first game as a NFL QB and he hadn’t seen regular season snaps in nearly two years. So why did the offense begin to click once Savage took the reins? He was prepared. Savage explained, “I wouldn’t be suited up if I wasn’t mentally ready to go out there. That’s what this team deserves. They deserve someone to go in there and perform. And when they called my name, that’s what I tried to do.”
Jadeveon Clowney led the Texans defense with three tackles for losses, two QB hits, and a sack. It was no easy feat, even once the interceptions were taken out of the mix. The Texans offense continued to struggle in the red zone which put pressure on veteran kicker Nick Novak. Novak, who had a hard day at the office as he was dealing with back pain, managed to kick four field goals and an extra point. Novak’s composure kept the Texans in what seemed to be a hopeless game by making clutch field goals.
“I had a little discomfort in my low back,” Novak said post game. “I just did what I had to do to get the pain to go away. I just tried to tell myself to be smooth and try not to over-kick anything. I actually was pleased with the contact that I made. The operation and everything, the protection was very good. I’m just very happy that we won.”
Jacksonville Jaguars rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey had quite the game as he remained in contention with Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins throughout the game. Ramsey lept and bound getting the better of Hopkins, limiting him to eight catches for 87 yards. Ramsey finished with four tackles, an interception, and five defended passes.
On Monday, O’Brien made it clear that Savage will be the starting QB for the Texans upcoming game,“…Tom Savage gives us the best chance to win. We will see what he can do for us Saturday against the Bengals.”
The Texans will host the Cincinnati Bengals at NRG stadium December 24th.