The Texans paid Brock Osweiler in the offseason, despite the extremely limited “sample size” they’ve seen from him on the field. They believe he can push them over the top in an already weak AFC South, but are they right?
Let’s start with the positives. First, Bill O’Brien has proven himself to be a pretty good offensive mind, so he should set Osweiler up for success system-wise. He will have a strong supporting cast on offense, led by DeAndre Hopkins. I expect Jalean Strong to have a very good second season and they managed to snag Lamar Miller in free agency, so the pieces are there for him to succeed. They also picked up the uber-athletic Braxton Miller, who has all the tools but is an unproven commodity at receiver. Add in the fact that, in this division, going 9-7 or 10-6 could very easily win it for them.
Having said that, I’m not sold on Osweiler. I watched quite a few of his games when he was at ASU, and while he has all the tools, I often came away unimpressed. Don’t get me wrong; he won’t be terrible, and he certainly will be better than that mess the Texans trotted out at the position last year. He will be a decent game manager who may throw the occasional back-breaking interception, and he probably won’t be the reason they lose games the majority of the time. In addition, I would be shocked if Andrew Luck suffered two terrible, injury-plagued seasons in a row, no matter how bad his O-line is. So while he will manage games fairly well and keep the Texans in the division race, I wouldn’t expect a breakout season from him. He is a serviceable NFL quarterback, and probably nothing more.