Bill O'Brien began his Houston tenure in 2014 by clashing with Texans icon Andre Johnson. O'Brien has been proven right about Johnson, as the wide receiver’s production in the league has steadily declined.
O'Brien and the Texans are in an entirely different boat now when it comes to their franchise wideout, as 24-year-old DeAndre Hopkins is just entering the prime of his career.
Sounds great on paper, as the Texans should be set-up to contend for the next 10 years. But It is still, unfortunately for Houston, a quarterback's league and it has become quickly apparent that the Texans don't have one. Brock Osweiler has been the bust of all busts, and O'Brien must find a new signal-caller quickly or he will be out of a job.
An obvious fit lies in New England, as Jimmy Garoppolo showed in Weeks 1 and 2 that he can play in the league. In Week 1 against the Cardinals, Garoppolo completed 24-of-33 passes for 264 yards and touchdown, zero picks. In Week 2 before getting injured, Garoppolo completed 18-of-26 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns. He finished with a 106.1 and 135.4 passer rating in those two games, respectively.
The obvious fear if the Texans were to investigate a Garoppolo trade is that he'd just end up being Brock Part Deux. While Osweiler had a couple clunkers during his time in Denver, he did have two games in which he had a passer rating over 100. He showed potential (that dirty, misleading word), just like Garoppolo.
So the Texans have already blown it with a quarterback who showed promise in the little NFL experience he had, and Texans owner Bob McNair would be bat-poop crazy to sign off on a Garoppolo deal.
Unless O'Brien can convince McNair that the franchise is going nowhere fast without a quarterback. It's been said McNair, not O'Brien, was the driving force behind the Texans inking Osweiler to the mega-deal - so maybe Houston management would give in and say to O'Brien, fine - you win. Have it your way. If that were to go down, O’Brien would surely give his old boss in Foxboro a call to see what it would take to land Jimmy G.
Onto problem No. 2: Bill Belichick wouldn’t be about to do O’Brien any favors so he’d surely ask for the world … like either Hopkins or Will Fuller. The Pats would obviously have to send the Texans back a draft pick or three to make the trade “fair” – but the Texans have seen the “Star Receiver – Mediocre QB” combo fail dating back to the David Carr – Andre Johnson days. Houston is absolutely desperate for a bona fide top five QB and Garoppolo briefly showed the potential to be just that.
If the Texans made this type of Internet-exploding move, it’s important to remember that Garoppolo would still have a weapon in Houston. If the Texans dealt Hopkins, Fuller would still be in place (and vice versa). Fuller’s production has fell off dramatically since the first two games of the season, but Houston still loves the kid.
The Texans, if they’re serious about becoming a true contender in the AFC, cannot keep trotting out Osweiler and two terrific receivers. Even an average quarterback – which Garoppolo projects to be – and one terrific receiver might be the better option. As it stands heading into Week 8, the Texans are 30th in the league in passing yards per game at a measly 204.
So a change is needed, and major, major risks will need to be taken in Houston when it comes to their offense. It’s a wait and see on just how much the Texans are willing to risk.