Preseason doesn’t matter, as we all know. But when a quarterback earns $18 million a season, his team wants him to look like an upgrade at the position, even in games that don’t count. It does not want him to look like Brock Osweiler did for the first half of the Houston Texans’ preseason.
After a poor debut and a so-so second game, Osweiler finally looked comfortable as a Texan in preseason game No. 3.
Osweiler, against a good Arizona Cardinals defense, completed 11 of 13 passes for 146 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions on Sunday. He had a couple of nice deep completions to first-round pick Will Fuller, who also impressed on Sunday. The second of the deep passes to Fuller was a 26-yard touchdown. This is the Osweiler the Texans thought they were getting.
Osweiler will be under pressure because of his contract. He left the Denver Broncos to sign a four-year, $72 million deal with the Texans. The amount of the contract doesn’t matter as much as you’ll hear about it; the Texans had to pay that much to get him, and it’s not like they had better options for their $72 million. But after Osweiler got that massive contract after just seven career starts, everything he does will be viewed in terms of his salary. And through two preseason games, it wasn’t pretty. He completed 4 of 7 passes for 27 yards in the preseason opener, then 12 of 19 for 124 yards with a touchdown and an interception last week. He had just a 74.4 rating after two preseason games. He’s not the first quarterback to have a quiet preseason, but the spotlight on him is bright.
Osweiler probably won’t play in the fourth preseason game, because starters usually sit out the exhibition finale. At least Osweiler did something positive before his preseason was done. That will lessen the pressure on him for Week 1 … a little bit anyway.
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