PEPSI CHALLENGE TIME.
- Quarterback A: 64.9% completion rate, 6.98 yards per attempt, 7 TD, 3 INT, 211 yards per game.
- Quarterback B: 59% completion rate, 6.19 yards per attempt, 8 TD, 8 INT, 234 yards per game.
Quarterback A’s numbers are unquestionably better, right? Those belong to Trevor Siemian, the second-year Denver Broncos quarterback. Quarterback B happens to be one of Siemian’s former teammates, Brock Osweiler.
Osweiler unceremoniously left Denver to sign a four-year deal worth $37 million guaranteed in March. You know this, I know this, we all know this. The only quarterback left on the Broncos’ roster after Peyton Manning retired and Osweiler fled for greener pastures was Siemian.
Siemian improbably won the starting job over Mark Sanchez and Paxton Lynch, and he’ll be Denver’s starter when the Broncos (4-2) face the Texans (4-2) on Monday Night Football.
As we learn more and more about Osweiler, it’s become increasingly clear the Broncos dodged a bullet when he didn’t accept Denver’s pretty generous offer in favor of a slightly richer one in Houston. Osweiler’s cap hit is $12 million this year; Siemian’s, by comparison, is just $538,195.
Osweiler has plenty of talent around him.
Houston signed tailback Lamar Miller, a dynamic runner and solid pass catcher, in the offseason. So far, he’s rushed for 520 yards on 4.2 a pop. The Texans already had one of the best wide receivers in the game, DeAndre Hopkins, for Osweiler to throw to. And they added talented Notre Dame wideout Will Fuller, who already has two 100-yard receiving games, in the draft.
All that, and they’re averaging 18 points a game — 30th in the NFL.
Houston won’t be able to get Osweiler’s contracts off the books until 2018. Sometimes you just get lucky. John Elway and Co. very easily could be in the same position.
The Von Miller oversized glasses matchup of the week
Denver’s offensive line vs. Houston’s front seven.
The Texans lost J.J. Watt in Week 3 to a back injury and were forced to place him on injured reserve. It was a brutal blow; there is no defensive player who impacts the game like Watt — not even Von Miller.
But even without Watt, Houston’s front seven (three defensive lineman, four linebackers) remains strong. Whitney Mercilus (4 1/2 sacks) and JaDaveon Clowney (two sacks) are a formidable one-two punch at the outside linebacker spots.
The Broncos offensive line has struggled to create running lanes for Denver’s backs and keeping Siemian and Paxton Lynch upright the last three weeks. They’ll face a tough test Monday.
How to watch the game
When: 6:30 p.m. Monday
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium
Broncos 24, Texans 17