Brian Hoyer has edge in Texans’ QB battle

The sample size is very small, but so far the numbers aren't very kind to Ryan Mallett.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/George Bridges)

(AP Photo/George Bridges)

Brian Hoyer has edge in Texans’ QB battle

Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien is playing it close to the vest when it comes to naming his starting QB for Week 1 of the regular season, but based on the numbers (so far), Brian Hoyer is looking like the superior option over Ryan Mallett.

Hoyer started last week against the San Francisco 49ers and played just one series that lasted nine plays, hitting WR Cecil Shorts III in stride on a deep crossing route for a TD. On only four dropbacks, Hoyer finished with a +1.3 passing grade. Mallett earned a +0.6 passing grade on 11 dropbacks, while third-stringer Tom Savage was a distant -2.1 on 15 dropbacks.

Keep in mind that the sample size is small for all three QBs with only one preseason game in the books. And we don’t have much regular-season action to go on with Mallett, either. His lone start last year for the Texans yielded a disastrous -8.3 passing performance in a home loss to Cincinnati. Alarmingly, he earned a -7.3 on passes when he wasn’t under pressure. That’s not to say Mallett can’t turn things around as he gains more experience.

Of course, Hoyer’s starting career hasn’t been a model of stability, either. Through Week 10 last season, while with Cleveland, Hoyer ranked No. 12 in the NFL in our passing grades. Things fell apart from Week 11 onwards, closing the season with the second-worst passing grade in the NFL during that stretch.

Right after the Niners game, O’Brien stated that Mallett would start Week 2 against the Denver Broncos. The Broncos had the best team pass-rush grade last week at +13.4 — for a QB in Mallett who has struggled even when there isn’t a pass rush, that could be trouble.

  • Sam Doohan

    As I recall Hoyer’s stats fell off the moment that Cleveland’s rushing attack fell apart. When he was working off play-action he was hugely more effective. And that makes me kinda nervous about him starting in Housten. If Arian Foster were starting the season or they at least had a viable stop gap then Hoyer is definitely who you want in but I’m not so sure going into the season.

    If the Texans can’t get things moving on the ground and he suffers the same slump as last year then they might genuinely be better served starting Mallet and trying to develop him instead.

  • Jason May

    Mallett had one start? So you took his worst (in which he was injured) and disregarded his only true healthy start vs Browns, a fantastic performance?

    Also highly question a system (or at least grade) that gave Savage a grade that negative last week.

  • AdamR_MobileAL

    It should be remembered that Mallett played the Bengals game last year with a pec. injury on his throwing side, an injury that put him on IR after the game.