Rudderless Texans Need Colin Kaepernick, or Risk Sinking Potential Super Season

Mike FreemanNFL National Lead WriterNovember 5, 2017

Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage (3) is hit by Indianapolis Colts inside linebacker Jon Bostic (57) as he tries to throw during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

What we saw with the Houston Texans on Sunday wasn't just a glimpse of life without Deshaun Watson. It was a team wasting everything. Wasting its talent. Wasting its time. Wasting your time.

Tom Savage isn't a quarterback. He's a punch line. How many Texans linemen does it take to screw in a light bulb? Two: One to screw in the light bulb, the other to recover the pieces after Tom Savage fumbles it.

At one point in the second half of the Texans' 20-14 loss to the Colts, Savage was 9-for-29 for 96 yards and a quarterback rating of 41.7. This was against the 31st-ranked pass defense in the league. All in all, Indianapolis has one of the sorriest defenses in football and all Savage could do was muster one touchdown and a passer rating of 66.4.

As bad as Savage played, the Texans were, remarkably, just one drive away from winning. With 18 seconds left, they found themselves with a 1st-and-goal at the Indianapolis 7-yard line.

You can almost guess the rest:

First down: incompletion.

Second down: incompletion.

Third down: incompletion.

Then, on fourth, Savage was sacked and he fumbled. Yes, the Texans offense made the Colts look like the '85 Bears.

"It's the most frustrating game of my career," Savage told reporters after the game, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. "I played like crap."

This is not to beat up on Savage. He is what he is: a borderline NFL quarterback who has no business starting for an NFL team. In Canada? Yes. In Arena? Absolutely. In the NFL? Hell naw.

This is about a much larger issue. It's about wasted opportunities and how Colin Kaepernick may help the Texans save their season.

The Colts held the Texans to 194 yards passing in their 20-14 win Sunday.
The Colts held the Texans to 194 yards passing in their 20-14 win Sunday.David J. Phillip/Associated Press

There are a lot of bad quarterbacks in football, from sea to shining sea, but Houston's situation is different than others'. This is a team that has a legitimate chance to make the Super Bowl, and it could still make it with Kaepernick.

No, he hasn't played in Houston's system, nor does he know the playbook, but he's a capable professional at the game's most important position.

Savage is not, and with him under center, the Texans' season is as good as over. If you cannot beat the Colts defense, which couldn't stop Robert Irsay if he were playing opposing quarterback, you cannot win many games.

It's a pretty simple choice: With Kaepernick, Houston could win a Super Bowl. With Savage, the Texans will watch the Super Bowl on HD television like millions of others.

Kaepernick hasn't played all season, but he's still a talent. In his last season for a 49ers team lacking in ability, Kaepernick threw for 16 touchdowns and just four picks. He also added 468 yards on the ground. He's still effective.

Even with the QB situation as it stands now, there is a lot to like about the Texans. Despite missing J.J. Watt, they have a championship-level defense because Jadeveon Clowney is almost as good. They have a solid running game. They have a star receiver in DeAndre Hopkins. This team is loaded.

You do not get opportunities like this often in the NFL. Teams this talented are rare, and most franchises, when they get this good, don't take it for granted.

The Texans are letting their pride and stubbornness get in the way. And by they, I mean owner Bob McNair. Of course, he isn't alone in ignoring the help Kaepernick could offer. Denver, Miami, Baltimore, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Denver, Green Bay and Arizona all could use the former 49er.

All of those teams are stupid not to pursue him.

I feel confident in saying that if the Texans were ever sincere about giving Kaepernick a chance, and wanted to sign him, he'd go there.

Colin Kaepernick has been discussed as a possible replacement for Deshaun Watson by the Texans, according to a report by Fox Sports' Jay Glazer.
Colin Kaepernick has been discussed as a possible replacement for Deshaun Watson by the Texans, according to a report by Fox Sports' Jay Glazer.George Bridges/Associated Press/Associated Press

I also feel confident in saying that coach Bill O'Brien likes Kaepernick. As does the Houston locker room.

That the front office doesn't feel the same way is borderline disgusting.

When a team like Baltimore, Cleveland or Miami is shortsighted, that's one thing, given their limited outlooks. The Texans doing it is malpractice.

Just consider this statistic from the Colts: The Indianapolis defense held the Texans offense scoreless through the first three quarters and held Houston to 96 net yards (67 passing and 29 rushing) in the first half. The Texans punted eight times on their first nine possessions. The other drive resulted in a missed field goal.

This is the damn Colts. The 3-6 Colts.

Houston is committing one of the worst sins in sports. Greed and arrogance are the first two.

Taking your own good team for granted is next.

    

Mike Freeman covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @mikefreemanNFL.