After a lackluster start from Tom Savage, rookie Deshaun Watson replaced him and had mixed results. Watson went 12-23 passing for 102 yards with one touchdown and one interception while adding 16 yards rushing on two carries. The Houston Texans coaching staff are weighing their options as Watson is banged up after Sunday’s loss and they have a short week as they travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals Thursday night. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted out early Monday of the Texans options.

Watson was adequate but overall not that impressive in Sunday’s loss. This can be blamed for the porous offensive line, which without All-Pro left tackle Duane Brown allowed 10 sacks including four of Watson. If Watson is going to succeed as the quarterback of the Texans, the offensive must protect him. Watson must be kept upright if the Texans are going to have a successful season.

Houston is not unfamiliar with a situation similar to this one, back in 2002 the Texans started David Carr and he was sacked 76 times as a rookie, this was also with a lackluster offensive line. Carr eventually flamed out and this is blamed on being sacked so many times in Houston, 249 times over five seasons.

If the Texans front office and coaching staff believe Deshaun Watson to be the answer at quarterback, they need to immediately address the offensive line situation. This means reaching out to Duane Brown and paying him handsomely. The Texans essentially have two options, go with Watson as the starter and risk ruining him before his career even starts or keeping Savage as the starter and let him take the beating of a lifetime behind an offensive line without Brown. As long as Brown is absent, the second option is the better of the two.

Deshaun Watson possesses a better skill set than Tom Savage, that is why Houston traded up in the draft to select him. Watson has the ability to make plays in pocket as well as making them on the run. Wth their current offensive line situation, a mobile quarterback is ideal as he can escape a pocket which will collapse without their All-Pro left tackle.

Of course ultimately the decision comes down to if the Texans believe they can win with Savage as their starter or if he is a lost cause. Savage’s performance on Sunday resembles more of a lost cause rather than a winning quarterback. Houston has playoff aspirations and it is possible that Savage can take them to the playoffs, but it is also possible he never starts a game again his season. Watson is (hopefully) the long term answer in Houston and the Texans may decide it is better to preserve him from taking unnecessary hits rather than throw him to the wolves behind a sub-par offensive line.