Ryan Mallett vs Brian Hoyer
It’s funny how things come full circle as two former Bill O’Brien disciples, Tom Brady backups, and ex-Patriots will battle for the starting quarterback job for the Houston Texans in 2015. In what seems to be the most competitive QB battle in the NFL, the Texans will showcase the competition in training camp and on HBO Hard Knocks this season.
The incumbent Ryan Mallett was traded to the Texans before the 2014 season and replaced last season’s Week 1 starter Ryan Fitzgerald in Week 11. Mallet played well in his first career start before getting injured for the season in his second. Mallett displayed his elite arm strength and understanding of O’Brien’s playbook before injuring his right pectoral muscle and missing the remainder of the 2014 season. A top prospect out of Arkansas Mallett never had a chance to showcase his talents in his first three seasons in New England for obvious reasons, but now has the opportunity to compete and beat out Hoyer. To win the battle Mallett needs to sure up his inconsistency in recognizing defensive coverages and become more consistent with his accuracy.
On the other side of the battle stands Brian Hoyer who similarly sat behind Brady for his first three seasons but has more experience than Mallet, starting 17 games in his career possessing a 10-7 record. Hoyer led the maligned Cleveland Browns 2014 team to a 7-6 record before losing his job to 1st round selection Johnny Manziel. Although Hoyer has a winning record as a starter, his play on the field has been underwhelming throwing for 19 TDs and 19 interceptions. The Texans will have a big decision on their hands to go with the more experienced QB in Hoyer or the more talented QB in Mallett.
This quarterback battle will decide the fate of a Houston Texans’ franchise that is a QB away from making a playoff run. The Texans’ offense boasts an elite running back in Arian Foster with an above average offensive line, an emerging WR1 Deandre Hopkins with newly signed Cecil Shorts and 3rd round draft pick WR Jaelen Strong. Add that to an improved defense with the best defensive player on the planet J.J. Watt and you have yourself a talented team that can win 10+ games this season.