Tom Savage plays just well enough to get Texans playoff-clinching win


At least the AFC playoff field will have Tom Brady.

Unless there are some upsets over the remainder of the regular season, or some serious leg injuries heal in a hurry, the AFC field will have Matt Moore, Matt McGloin and Tom Savage as three of its six starting quarterbacks. Don’t get too excited.

Savage and the Houston Texans punched their playoff ticket Saturday night when Randy Bullock missed a field goal wide right for the Cincinnati Bengals as time expired. The 9-6 Texans are AFC South champions with the 12-10 victory, but it wasn’t pretty. The Texans and Bengals were mostly inept on offense, until they traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Savage was 2-of-7 for 13 yards in the first half, and the Texans won anyway.

There’s probably no turning back from Savage now. Brock Osweiler was bad as Houston’s starter, and at least the Texans have won a couple games with Savage.

Savage looked good relieving Osweiler last week, but with a week to think about it – and a week for the Bengals’ defensive staff to prepare for him – Savage struggled. He finished 18-of-29 for 176 yards and no touchdowns. The Texans’ defense saved the day, although it still needed Bullock’s miss at the end.

Now that the Texans are in the playoff field, you can pretty much count on them being the early Saturday game on wild-card weekend, just like last year. Perhaps they’ll play against the Oakland Raiders, who will have to go with McGloin after Derek Carr broke his fibula on Saturday. Or maybe they’ll draw the Dolphins (who can clinch a playoff berth if the Denver Broncos lose Sunday) and Moore, who is subbing for injured Ryan Tannehill.

Either way, given Houston’s offensive struggles Saturday, it would appear the AFC South championship is the last one of the Texans will win this season. But given how the Texans’ quarterback shuffle has played out, a division title isn’t too bad for this season.