Former Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler returned to Denver on Monday night with his new team, the Houston Texans. He probably wished he didn’t play, as the Denver Broncos came out with an aggressive attitude and thumped the Texans 27-9.
Osweiler left the Broncos after last season as a free agent after four seasons for a four-year, $72 million contract with the Texans. He started five games for the Broncos last season after Peyton Manning was injured. But in the final regular-season game, he was benched at halftime and Manning came in to lead the Broncos to victory to secure home-field advantage through the AFC playoffs.
He was greeted with boos all throughout the game, and the Broncos made sure they did not forget him spurning the team. They went after him all night, forced him to make bad decisions, and kept him from throwing the ball downfield. He consistently overthrew and overlooked his star receiver, DeAndre Hopkins.
He was inaccurate throughout the game, especially on deep passes. Osweiler was 0-for-6 on throws more than 15 yards downfield. He threw for only 131 yards on 41 pass attempts, an average of 3.35 yards per attempt. No other quarterback had a lower yards per attempt than Osweiler did tonight (the previous record belonged to the Los Angeles Rams’ Case Keenum at 3.7 yards per attempt).
After three road games, the Texans are now 0-3 and have been outscored 85-22 away from NRG Stadium this season. Coach Bill O’Brien, who had a heated conversation with Osweiler after the last road loss, will have to go back to the basics to get this offense back on track.
It is quite obvious though that after seven games, one has to wonder if the Texans were wise to throw 72 million dollars on a quarterback that only had five career starts. One has to wonder if the Broncos, especially John Elway, knew when to say when in contract negotiations. Right now, the smart money is on Elway’s decision, and Texans have to be unsure about their young gun at the helm.