In Tom Savage’s first career start in his NFL career, it took a half of football to see the potential that he possesses in this offense. Savage led the Houston Texans to a 12-10 win over the Cincinnati Bengals to achieve their second consecutive AFC South championship.
“I thought he held up well. There early on, we just gave him no opportunity to throw,” Owner Bob McNair remarked at the end of the game. “He made some throws where he really got hit hard and I’m surprised he got the ball off. But he not only got it off, he made a big throw. So I thought he did fine. We just got to keep digging.”
Savage’s wait to start a game has spanned over three years with his last start coming for the Pittsburgh Panthers against Bowling Green in the 2013 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, in which he he did not play in the second half due to an injury.
“I was pumped to get back out there each drive and I’m happy we could move the ball a little bit but ultimately, we’ve got to put some more points on the board,” Savage stated.
He credits his journey for getting him prepared for this start and making sure he was fully prepared for what was ahead for him.
“Obviously been through the ringer a little bit,” Savage explained about his track to the NFL. “Not knowing where I’m going to go to college next week or next year and all that stuff, but ultimately it’s a team game and those guys really did a great job of rallying around me, making some plays and not once in that game did I think that we’re out of it or offensively, we weren’t going to make it.”
In a tale of two halves for Savage who, in the 1st half, only went 2 of 7 (28.5%) for 13 yards with his longest pass being 7 yards. During the second half, he was 16 of 22 (72.7%) for 163 yards, showing he can makes some plays when he gets settled.
The start for Savage was not pretty but he stuck with the plan and he is focused on making things easier for the defense.
“I think we can build. Obviously I think it’s a good thing that we protected the ball – not put the defense in a tough situation,” said Savage of the positives of his start. “I think just going out there and I know I just sound repetitive, but it’s going out there and keep executing what we need to do and it’s good to go out there and get some experience for sure.”