Tom Savage lasts one half in Houston before he's replaced by Deshaun Watson

At some point perhaps we’ll question if the reason quarterback after quarterback fails with Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien is actually because of Bill O’Brien.

O’Brien gave Tom Savage the start in Week 1, as he told everyone all offseason he would. Savage lasted one half. With the Texans trailing 19-0 at home to the Jacksonville Jaguars (read that sentence again, for full effect) and Savage struggling mightily, O’Brien benched his starting quarterback. That might seem crazy to pull your starter in Week 1, except that O’Brien did it in 2015 too, yanking Brian Hoyer in Week 1.

The Texans had 46 yards of offense and were sacked six times in the first half. That’s not all on Savage, considering his offensive line was awful with left tackle Duane Brown holding out, but it was clear that it was time for Deshaun Watson to make his debut.

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Watson, the Texans’ first-round pick, gave the Texans an immediate spark. They had more yards on Watson’s first drive as a pro than Savage managed the whole first half. That first drive ended with the Texans’ first points of the day, as Watson hit DeAndre Hopkins for his first career touchdown pass. If the Texans hadn’t had years of quarterback issues since O’Brien took over as coach, you might wonder how they settled on Savage over Watson in the first place.

Watson was going to take over as the Texans’ starter at some point this season. The switch might be flipped already, because it’s hard to believe the Texans will want to turn back to Savage next week. It seems like a quick hook, but we’ve seen it happen in Houston before.

Tom Savage was benched at halftime of Week 1 by Texans coach Bill O'Brien. (AP)
Tom Savage was benched at halftime of Week 1 by Texans coach Bill O’Brien. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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