A year after crashing in a miserable way mostly due to their quarterback problems, the Houston Texans are going with Ryan Fitzpatrick, at least for now, as their starting quarterback. The nine year veteran who has never been on a team that has made the playoffs, beat out Case Keenum and T.J. Yates for the job, although everything is open to change if things go badly.
Bill O’Brien has said things can (and maybe will) change as the season progresses. Considering all that’s happened over the last 12 months in Houston – turning into a bottom feeder and getting the number one pick in the draft after a 2-14 season with much higher expectations when the season began as Matt Schaub turned himself into a joke in a matter of two months, a little bit of consistency is all anyone’s asking for.
Andre Johnson saw this coming. He didn’t exactly predict Ryan Fitzpatrick becoming the starting quarterback for the Texans, but he knew he wasn’t going to be happy with whoever came in. Johnson wants to be on a team that makes the playoffs and looks like a Super Bowl candidate. Last season he had big numbers himself, but the Texans crashed with 14 consecutive losses to finish the season at 2-14 despite Super Bowl expectations when the season began.
Fitzpatrick started nine games last season for the Tennessee Titans instead of an injured Jake Locker, throwing for 2454 yards, 14 touchdowns an 12 interceptions. He led the NFL in interceptions in the 2011 season when playing for the Buffalo Bills, and has 106 touchdown passes to 93 interceptions thrown during this career. In short, one of the biggest problems for the Texans last season, the pick six, might haunt them as well this year.
T.J. Yates, who was the starting quarterback for the Texans when they won the franchise’s first ever playoff game, was released. The Texans are going for Case Keenum and Tom Savage as Fitzpatrick’s backups. According to Bill O’Brien, the Harvard grad with nine years of experience in the NFL is his man, but considering his inconsistency as a passer and the pressure he’ll be under to succeed on a team that is loaded in plenty of other positions, we might see a change happening very quickly if things don’t go too well early on.
One interesting tidbit about Fitzpatrick and postseason chances for the Houston Texans: Among active quarterbacks, only Jason Campbell has made more starts in the NFL and still hasn’t been to the playoffs. Campbell has been a starter for his teams 79 times. Fitzpatrick, who has played for the Bills, Titans, Bengals and Rams, has been the starting quarterback on his teams 77 times, getting the full 16 twice (2011, 2012). The Bills went 6-10 in both seasons.