It is in times of serious adversity that a man shows his true colors. Houston Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler may not be an elite level passer in a numerical sense, but the intangibles that can’t be counted are as clear as day. And it showed up big in a Sunday night win over a desperate Indianapolis Colts football team.
The Texans might as well have been playing on seething coals by the second half of a terrible start to the division game. It’s one thing to get booed on the road but getting booed at home is shameful. Houston fans had seen enough mediocre quarterback play after suffering through the Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett era last season.
So there was no leniency when Osweiler struggled in the first half against a Colts defense that ranks in the bottom half of the league.
He headed into the locker room at halftime 7-of-17 for 64 yards. It was an abysmal performance that would have rattled most quarterbacks, but Osweiler isn’t the type of player to dwell on bad circumstances. Even with the home crowd booing him and the edacious stares of every critic glued on his jersey, he kept his composure and led his team to the unlikeliest of comebacks in the fourth quarter.
Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and running back Lamar Miller told the Houston Chronicle that Osweiler continued to play with confidence even when things unraveled.
“He’s the quarterback of all quarterbacks,” said Hopkins. “He came out, didn’t make some plays we could have helped him on and kept his head up.”
“He had a lot of confidence,” Miller said. “He kept us going in the huddle. He made the right reads and kept us moving down the field.”
With less than four minutes left in the fourth quarter, Osweiler engineered an improbable comeback and erased a 14-point deficit. Touchdown passes to Miller and tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz put the Texans in position to win the game in overtime.
All was forgiven and the crowd suddenly started cheering again.
The Brock train was full steam ahead once the Texans got an opportunity to put the game away, and there wasn’t a single player on the field that could stop it. A beautifully thrown pass that landed gently in the hands of receiver Jaelen Strong set up the game-winning field goal that solidified the Texans’ No. 1 spot atop the AFC South.
“I think [Osweiler] showed what he can do,” said Texans owner Bob McNair. “We need to do it for four quarters and not wait until the end, but it shows that he has the ability and mindset and determination and confidence to lead the team back from a very deep hole that we were in.”
Osweiler is a traditional gunslinger that doesn’t linger on past throws. That’s something Houston hasn’t had in a long time.
The win over the Colts was a character building game that should propel the team in tight situations down the stretch. As long as time remains on the clock, players can be confident that the same quarterback will take command of the huddle and lead the team to victory.
Even with a noticeably irate Denver Broncos team standing on the doorstep for one of the most fueled Monday Night Football games in recent memory, Osweiler is prepared to calmly walk into the fire next week as well and orchestrate this Texans’ offense.
That kind of quarterback should never be counted out.