Mon Nov 30, 15. Houston Texans and the problems of playing quarterback roulette.
After twelve matches, the Houston Texans sit joint-top of the AFC South and will fancy their chances of toppling the injury-hit Indianapolis Colts in the coming weeks. Bill O'Brien's men have improved significantly since the start of the season and have won three consecutive matches - taking their record to 6-5 for the year. All this despite juggling their quarterbacks throughout the campaign, with both Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer spending time as Houston's starting signal-caller. If the Texans manage to reach the playoffs - either by winning the division or securing one of the AFC's two wildcard spots - they deserve plenty of credit for an outstanding effort across the board.
Essentially, the Texans have been playing quarterback roulette throughout 2015. Until the end of October, Mallett and Hoyer were both given ample opportunity to prove their worth at the position. As the name suggests, quarterback roulette is simply where you play different quarterbacks depending on the situation, matchup, scenario and even weather conditions. It's a complete lottery as to whether your decision (or wager) will pay off, hence where the levels of risk come into play. Playing a rookie quarterback is very similar to placing a wager on 0, so you can either place a lower amount of money on the event paying off or simply give him lesser time in the quarterback roulette game.
In fact, there are a number of teams across the NFL who are currently playing quarterback roulette. The Washington Redskins were playing it earlier in the season as they opted for traditional backup quarterback Kirk Cousins over 2012 overall second pick Robert Griffin III. Their decision has paid off and they now sit at the top of the NFC East. When playing quarterback roulette for your fantasy team or 32Red roulette games, you should take inspiration from this kind of decision when considering risks or choosing whether to play it completely safe.
Back to Houston's situation, the quarterback position is their only real weakness. On defense, they have JJ Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Vince Wilfork in their front seven - with those three teaming up with Brian Cushing to form a formidable unit up front. The Texans have gradually improved in recent weeks and their secondary, which was getting dominated earlier in the season, is now making top quality players against some of the best offenses in the NFL. Houston are a well-oiled, organised unit and their defensive stars are starting to stand out on a weekly basis.
On offense, the Texans are getting by without a genuine number one quarterback and their primary running back. Arian Foster was ruled out for the season with a torn Achilles - an injury that was supposed to end Houston's chances of success this campaign. Alfred Blue and Chris Polk have done a decent job in Foster's absence but in a way, Houston have had 'running back roulette' problems throughout the second half of the season. Their main threat on offense? DeAndre 'Nuk' Hopkins. The wide receiver has been sensational throughout the early stages of the campaign, racking up 1117 yards and nine touchdowns. If the Texans are to reach the playoffs, Hopkins' contributions will not go unnoticed. As of November 30th, Houston are valued at 33/20 with 32Red to win the AFC South this season and their star wideout will need to maintain his form if O'Brien's men are to stand a chance.
Next season, their quarterback roulette problems may be over. The Texans could trade down in order to select the top-rated quarterback in the draft, Connor Cook. The Michigan State signal caller is widely regarded as the solution to Houston's problems and it wouldn't be a massive surprise to see the Texans trade down to acquire the quarterback. In 2015, Cook has thrown 21 touchdown passes and just four interceptions - an incredible achievement, even for a college quarterback. Houston's quarterback roulette problems aren't quite over yet but O'Brien's men will stand a much greater chance of success next season with a top signal caller at the helm.
Page of MYKwebWORLD