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Bill O’Brien: 9-7 is not the bar for Houston Texans

Faith truly is the operative word when assessing Osweiler’s presence in Houston. The Texans are betting a player who started all of seven games in four NFL seasons can be the answer to the endless quarterback problems that have plagued them for years. Osweiler is gambling that his career is better off with a franchise that has never moved beyond the Divisional Round of the playoffs than it would have been with the reigning Super Bowl champions, a Broncos organization that gave him the chance to learn behind future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. It’s the kind of move that could propel the Texans toward a Super Bowl … or leave them wondering if they just landed their next Matt Schaub, a talented quarterback who made a couple Pro Bowls before his career eventually imploded.

Even now — as Houston prepares for its third preseason game, a home matchup with Arizona that will offer the most telling evidence of what Osweiler can offer this franchise — all the Texans are praying that the intangibles they’ve seen in their new quarterback thus far are early predictors of his on-field success.

HOUSTON — There have been enough significant changes within the Houston Texans that it’s time for a crucial reality check. Yes, they have a new look in the offensive backfield with quarterback Brock Osweiler and cheap jerseys and running back Lamar Miller arriving through free agency. The draft also produced a couple speedy receivers with exciting potential. But the Texans still will be driven by the force and ferocity of their defense. Of that, there should be no question.

This is an important point to remember as the excitement builds around the possibilities for the Texans. They made improving their offense a major focus and Osweiler’s decision to leave the reigning Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos dropped plenty of jaws around the league. General manager Rick Smith and and head coach Bill O’Brien wanted an offense that could be more dynamic. What they also needed was more help for a defense that should make this team a serious contender.

“We understand that 9-7 is not the bar,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien told the Houston Chronicle, speaking of last year’s record. “We feel like we’ve made some really good strides here in the past two years with our football team. We’ve overcome some adversity. We have a mentally tough team. We’ve got a bunch of great guys in that locker room but we know that the 9-7 bar is too low.”

It’s hard to place the weight of this statement on one person, but the major difference between this year’s team and last year’s team is the presence of a potential Pro Bowl quarterback. The Texans are giving Brock Osweiler every chance to be great in this offense, and his first test comes this Sunday against the Chicago Bears.jersey

Savage will be the guy going forward, but how should Houston handle the QB position next week at Tennessee? What looked to be the game of the week is now an all-but-meaningless contest, what with the Titans eliminated and Marcus Mariota injured. Would Bill O’Brien consider playing both Savage and and Osweiler next week, so to at least avoid injury to his preferred starter? We’ve learned this week that, heading into the postseason, you can never be too careful with your QB1.

Houston Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler knows Sunday’s tilt versus the Indianapolis Colts could determine which team makes the playoffs and and which team sits on a couch all January.

“This game Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis, this is the biggest game of our season,” Osweiler said, per the team’s official website. “I’m viewing our season right now as a one-game season and it’s one game that we must win. I think our entire football team understands that. There’s great urgency in this building right now and it reflected at today’s practice. No doubt about it, we understand as a team how important Sunday is and you can expect our best effort come Sunday.”