Tom Savage Continues as the Starter
It is with little surprise that Tom Savage will continue to get work moving into week 17 as the starter at quarterback for the Houston Texans.
“He’ll start against the Titans,” said Bill O’Brien on Monday. “So as it relates to Tom, I thought he got into a rhythm in the second half and he was much better. I think everybody could see that. What did we learn from that? I don’t know, we’re still talking about that right now. You know, obviously Tennessee is a different opponent, different defense, the whole thing. But I thought Tom played better in the second half.”
Savage continues to be on a crash course to get the Texans offense going in a short amount of time. It appears that he will have 10.5 quarters worth of time behind center to prepare for when the Texans host the wildcard matchup. All signs are pointing to Savage starting the playoff game which is of little surprise with the change made at the position.
On the season, Savage is 41 of 65 (63.1%) for 436 yards with no turnovers but he is still waiting for his first touchdown pass of the season. In 20 drives as the Texans quarterback, Savage has led the Texans 8 scoring drives (6 FGs, 2 TDs). In the second half of Savage’s time on the field, the Texans have had 13 drives and 7 have ended in scores (5 FGs, 2 TDs). One drive ended in victory formation.
Lamar Miller and Jadeveon Clowney sit out Wednesday
“I think both of those guys are day to day. We’re going to have to make a decision later in the week on a few guys,” explained O’Brien. “Those two guys, Jay Prosch, Jonathan Joseph, all those guys. We’ll have seven guys inactive, we’ll have 46 guys active. We’re going to go to Tennessee versus a very difficult team, and do the best we can to try to win the game.”
O’Brien also says that there are some decisions to be made on Jay Prosh and Johnathan Joseph as the week goes on.
Nick Novak, Better than Most Realize
The Texans have continued to stall out on the field but have been saved by the accuracy of kicker Nick Novak. Novak ranks second in the NFL in attempts (39) and made attempts (34), which is a product of the offense.
Novak has had an up and down career, and start to this season, but he has hit on 16 straight field goal attempts heading into week 17.
“He’s done a really nice job. He’s a tough guy. He’s the guy that’s been cut and brought back. He’s had his ups and downs. I know he loves playing here, he loves his teammates,” explained O’Brien. “All he wants to do is go out there and perform for his team. We have to cut down on the number of field goals we have. We kick too many field goals. When we send him out there, we have confidence he’s going to make it. Hopefully, he can keep it going.”
Novak passed Neil Rackers, who made 32 in 2011, for the most field goals made in Texans history. Also, Novak is the 6th player in team history to score 200 total points in a season.
Tom Savage Needs to Speed Up
One issue regarding Tom Savage is the pace of how he gets the Texans in and out of the huddle. Bill O’Brien mentioned it after Savage’s first appearance against Jacksonville and once again this was an issue against Cincinnati in the the first half.
Bill O’Brien discussed how he wanted Savage to pick up the pace.
“We played too slow against Cincinnati, and I want us to play faster,” O’Brien stated. “That doesn’t mean a whole game of no-huddle, but it just means that we need to get in and out of the huddle quicker and play the game at a better tempo.”
That was clear with how Savage produced on the field, going 2 of 7 for 13 yards in the first half and then putting up 163 yards in the second half by going 16 of 22 through the air.
Savage knows he has to pick up his game pace and agreed with what O’Brien mentioned about the offense.
“Just the practice, even today, it was kind of get up, get set, and kind of be on the offensive on that side, especially with the defense,” Savage said. “We really want to dictate what we want to do. I agree with him 100 percent, we have to go out there and we have to get on the ball a little quicker and snap the ball and play fast.”
Relates Stories: Alfred Blue Shines | Tom Savage Picks Up the Pace in the Second Half | Bill O'Brien Wants the Spotlight on his Team | What's The Scenario? Playoff Picture for the Texans | Tom Savage His Having Fun in his New Role | Takeaways: Titans Discuss the Texans