AP Analysis: The good, the bad, the ugly of NFL 2016
FILE – In a Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016 file photo, Houston Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler yells on the line of scrimmage during the first half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, in Indianapolis. Among the worst calls of the 2016 NFL season was the Houston Texans deciding to break the bank for Osweiler. Osweiler is a backup heading into the playoffs just like last year, when he was supplanted by Peyton Manning in Denver. (Michael Conroy, File/Associated Press)
The Houston Texans’ decision to break the bank for Brock Osweiler was among the worst calls of 2016, aside from Jacksonville’s color rush mustard yellow jerseys , of course.
The Texans soon realized that just because you pay a quarterback $18 million a year on average doesn’t mean you have an $18 million quarterback, but maybe just an average one.
Osweiler is a backup heading into the playoffs, just like last year, when he was supplanted by Peyton Manning in Denver. This time, he’s behind Tom Savage, who’s making $600,000.
“Unfortunately I’ve been down this road before,” Osweiler said. “I understand what it’s like to get benched in the middle of a football game. And ultimately having a big picture view on the deal, it’s all about the next man up and being a good teammate.”
The other team from Texas also has an expensive backup, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made one of the best calls of 2016 when he kept his $18 million QB on the sideline in light of rookie Dak Prescott’s success.
Prescott ($450,000) has capitalized on the NFL’s best offensive line and the league’s top rusher, fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott, to guide Dallas (13-2) back to elite status after Tony Romo broke a bone in his back in a preseason game.
To think, Prescott was Jones’ consolation prize after John Elway outmaneuvered him on draft day to select Paxton Lynch, who’s 1-1 as Trevor Siemian’s backup in Denver.
Other front office moves that paid off handsomely included: Oakland signing Kelechi Osemele, the capstone of the AFC’s best O-line; New England bringing back O-line coach Dante Scarnecchia; and Atlanta signing Alex Mack, who transformed the Falcons’ O-line into one of the league’s best.
The Browns were ridiculed early on for their trade with the Eagles and missing out on Carson Wentz. But they could have two top-10 picks in April, allowing them to get Myles Garrett AND a quarterback, setting up a potential franchise-transforming draft.
Jack Del Rio shed his conservative credentials and went for 2 at New Orleans in Week 1, setting the tone for the Raiders’ return to the playoff party for the first time since 2002, even if Derek Carr (broken leg) won’t lead the way.