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.