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Texans starting Tom Savage over Brock Osweiler vs Bengals

The Bengals will face a new Texans starting quarterback in primetime.

NFL: Houston Texans-OTA Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: The Texans will be using a backup quarterback when they take on the Bengals.

Whether it’s been T.J. Yates, Ryan Mallett, or even Yates again, the Bengals seem to always have the luck of facing Houston just as they’re going to a new quarterback, and this year will be no different.

On Monday, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien announced that Tom Savage will be the starter when Houston hosts Cincinnati on Saturday night. Savage is replacing the incumbent Brock Osweiler, who was easily one of, if not the worst starting quarterback in the NFL for the first 14 weeks of the season.

No other signal-caller managed to play as badly as Osweiler and keep his job for 14 games, and the Texans finally had enough of it after his early struggles vs the Jaguars on Sunday. This still wasn’t enough to keep the Texans out of first place, as they currently have control of the AFC South, though both the Colts and Titans could steal win the division.

In what turned into a 21-20 comeback win over Jacksonville on Sunday, Savage came in the game for Houston with the Texans trailing 13-0 in the second quarter. O'Brien decided to bench Osweiler after watching him throw two picks on Houston's first five drives.

After Savage came into the game, the third-year quarterback threw for 260 yards on 23-of-26 passing attempts in the game, including a game-winning touchdown drive with just 2:51 left.

In 14 starts this season, Osweiler has thrown 14 touchdown passes vs 16 interceptions. His 71.4 passer rating ranks 30th among qualified quarterback, below Case Keenum and Blake Bortles, and just above Ryan Fitzpatrick.

That’s how bad Osweiler has been this season, so it would be pretty hard for Savage to be any worse, at least right away. He’s still a very raw quarterback with very limited tape to build a defensive game plan around.

In just three career games played, Savage has completed 33 of 55 passes for 387 yards and one interception with one sack taken. Even if he’s actually worse than Osweiler, it may be harder for the Bengals to expose his weaknesses and defend him better with such limited tape.

We’ll see come Saturday night.