- The Houston Texans have named Tyrod Taylor as the team’s starting quarterback.
- Taylor will make his Texans’ debut on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
- Quarterback Deshaun Watson remains on the Texans’ roster but is unlikely to play this year due to his ongoing legal issues.
The Houston Texans have named well traveled veteran Tyrod Taylor as the team’s starting quarterback heading into the 2021 NFL season. Taylor was previously the starting quarterback in Buffalo and spent two years with the Los Angeles Chargers before signing with Houston in the offseason.
The move wasn’t a huge surprise given the state of Houston’s quarterback situation. Deshaun Watson is still on the team’s 53 man roster but isn’t expected to play this season. Watson requested a trade in January and its unclear if Houston made any effort to accommodate that. It’s unlikely, since Watson is also facing a slew of legal issues. He currently has 22 civil lawsuits filed against him for allegations of sexual assault and similar ‘inappropriate behavior’. As of yet, he hasn’t been restricted from taking part in team activities or otherwise sanctioned by the NFL. The prevailing wisdom is that the league will wait to issue any type of discipline until after his legal issues are resolved. Watson was the NFL’s passing leader a year ago though it was a dubious honorific on a team that finished 2-14.
Taylor’s backup will be rookie Davis Mills, a third round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft out of Stanford. In addition, the Texans have quarterback Jeff Driskel on the practice squad. Driskel spent the 2020 season with the Denver Broncos.
Despite the timing of the Texan’s announcement there has been little doubt that Taylor would be the starter this season. For whatever reason, first year head coach David Culley had not given any official word on the quarterback situation prior to Monday. Based on numerous reports, he hadn’t given any official indication to the quarterbacks themselves which is somewhat strange. As late as last Tuesday, Taylor hadn’t been told that he’d be starting:
“I haven’t been told that officially, but I’ve never necessarily looked for that confirmation. My mindset doesn’t change and it hasn’t changed since I’ve been drafted. Ever since I’ve started playing football, it’s to prepare as a starter, lead like a starter and let the coaches make the decisions that they make.”
Taylor is likely just what the Texans need–a steadying presence from a heady veteran. Taylor isn’t the type of quarterback that will come in and turn a team’s fortunes around immediately but he’s definitely got the skills and leadership ability to provide some sort of traction for a team that spent the 2020 season completely adrift.
Expectations aren’t very high for the 2021 Texans and for good reason. The team doesn’t have much talent on the roster, they’ve got a first year head coach with no prior NFL head coaching experience and they’ve got the distraction of Deshaun Watson and his 22 sexual assault lawsuits from 22 different women. Best case scenario for the team might be to show any improvement at all from 2020’s 2-14 record. They’re definitely not getting much support from the betting marketplace–at BetOnline.ag, the Texans’ O/U win total is set at 4 with the ‘Under’ priced at -130.
Other NFL futures markets don’t inspire confidence either. Despite being in his first season, head coach David Culley is an eighth co-choice with Joe Judge at +1800 for ‘first coach to be fired’ this NFL season. The Texans are a -1400 choice to *not* make the playoffs–the other side of the proposition has them installed as a +700 longshot to reach the postseason. BetOnline.ag has a special ‘divisional finish position’ market and the Texans are a -280 chalk to finish in last place. Third place is priced at +300, second at +1100 and a divisional title is +2800. Houston is the biggest longshot in the league to win the Super Bowl, priced at +20000.