The season hasn’t been going according to plan and expectations for the Houston Texans. While they’ve been getting plenty from their opportunistic and aggressive defense, the offense, led by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, has been consistently the weak link which might start costing some players their place on the field.
Making a quarterback switch is always risky and tricky. If it’s something you’ve been planning to do, simply waiting for the opportunity, like the way Jim Harbaugh caught a break when Colin Kaepernick emerged from the Alex Smith injury as the new franchise quarterback, there’s nothing wrong. But when the backup for Ryan Fitzpatrick is Ryan Mallett, a career backup, it doesn’t feel like a great change is going to come anyway.
One thing is quite clear: Fitzpatrick is under performing. It’s hard to call it a disappointment or a surprise after Fitzpatrick has been struggling convincing anyone he’s a reliable starting quarterback for years. The Texans have topped 400 yards only twice so far this season, with Fitzpatrick’s passer rating of 87.1 is only 22nd among eligible quarterbacks this season. He is completing 61.8% of his passes this season, but was held to just 54.3% in the win over the Titans and looked abysmal with a 48.3% completion percentage in the loss to the Eagles.
I did not play well enough for us to win. ‘It was a tough one because we got some turnovers by the defense, and, obviously, the defensive touchdown, and getting some turnovers and going down and scoring, but not really being able to generate anything on our own. Well, I mean, you think things will get better with time as the season goes on.
The Texans are 4-5 right now, two games behind the Colts in the AFC South. In their five losses this season they’ve never been beaten by more than 13 points and on three occasions lost by seven points or less. This isn’t a bad team getting beaten up weekly. They have a very difficult defense to handle, a stud running back in Arian Foster enjoying a wonderful comeback season and receivers who provide Fitzpatrick with suitable options.
However, the 31-year old quarterback into his 10th NFL season simply isn’t playing at the level needed of him, something some players within the franchise were worried about when he was signed during the offseason to take the place of the departing Matt Schaub. Fitzpatrick isn’t the interception machine he can be (“only” 8 so far) but he has thrown just 11 touchdowns through nine games, and if there’s an Achilles heel on this team stopping them from doing better, it’s probably him.