The Houston Texans have a problem, the lack of a solid starting quarterback. Does Ryan Fitzpatrick deserve the nod? Or should Houston roll the dice with its rookie? Dan Salem and Todd Salem debate in part one of this week’s TD Sports Debate. Two brothers from New York yell, scream and debate the NFL and sports.
Houston has a problem; namely the Texans don’t know what they have at quarterback. They named their starter, but should Houston really give the ball to the shell of what once was Ryan Fitzpatrick? The alternative is no better; letting a third year player with only eight starts to his name, Case Keenum, lead their squad. They also have Tom Savage, who sounds more like an actor than the 2014 fourth round pick of the Houston Texans, out of Pittsburgh, PA.
I like Ryan Fitzpatrick for two reasons. I always felt like he was defying the odds as a Harvard guy starting at quarterback in the NFL. I also loved him as the Buffalo Bills quarterback. He would always throw an interception at just the right time to lead his team to yet another loss. As a New York Jets fan, this made me very happy.
Fitzpatrick played eleven games for the Tennessee Titans last year, none of them spectacularly, but none bad either. His 2013 numbers compare favorably to Keenum, while his career numbers blow him away. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been a very good quarterback, but I’ve never known an NFL team to be happy with ‘very good.’
Ryan Fitzpatrick (career): 84 games, 60% completion percentage, 106 TDs, 93 INTs
Ryan Fitzpatrick (2013 stats): 11 games, 2450 yds, 14 TDs, 12 INTs, and a 55.4 QBR
Case Keenum: 8 career games (all in 2013), 1760 yds, 9 TDs, 6 INTs, and a 34.5 QBR
If I were the coach of the Houston Texans I’d want to see more from Keenum. He did nothing to impress me last season, but nothing to scare me off either. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a proven veteran. You know exactly what you are getting. Specifically, one interception for nearly every touchdown thrown. But you’re also getting a proven leader, a smart and developed player who does know how to win, despite his time in Buffalo.
Fitzpatrick can lead this team, but it won’t be to the postseason. At least with Case you get youth, untapped potential, and hope. Who do you like for this team? Should we be higher on Mr. Savage? You know I love a good rookie.
I have no idea what the Houston Texans should do with the position of starting quarterback. I could see a case made for any of the three competitors.
Tom Savage is a big guy with a big arm who can sling the ball down the field. He had a 7.5 yards per attempt mark for his collegiate career. That just so happens to be the exact same figure Tom Brady has put up during his NFL career. Of course, as you mentioned, Savage is an actor, former star of the wildly popular Boy Meets World. He is no NFL signal-caller.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is a smart guy who can handle new offenses and a new coaching staff. He threw for almost 4000 yards just a couple of seasons ago in Buffalo and has had three different seasons where he’s thrown for at least 23 touchdowns. Of course, they don’t call him Pickspatrick for nothing. 93 career interceptions is a lot…like A LOT. On the list of active quarterbacks with the most career picks thrown, only Jon Kitna and Fitzpatrick are in the top 12 and were never considered elite guys.
Case Keenum, on the surface, deserves another shot at being a starting quarterback. He’s only played in eight career games as you stated and showed some signs of promise even if the numbers don’t back that up. Of course, he lost all eight of the games he started for Houston, has a very poor completion percentage and entered the NFL as a system-quarterback coming out of college.
There is really no wrong answer here; which is to say, there is no right answer. Many believed Houston should have selected one of the upper-echelon QB prospects in the 2014 draft. I’m not sold on that logic either though. The Texans made good selections throughout the entire draft, and Savage may prove to be just as good, if not better than any of the quarterbacks selected ahead of him.
Despite what you went out on, saying Ryan Fitzpatrick can’t lead this team to the postseason, I actually believe he has the best chance to do so. If Houston is really aiming for that bounce-back year, behind what should be a great defense, Fitzpatrick gives the club its best chance to win. After that, there’s isn’t much else I can be certain of.