After inking the former Denver Broncos quarterback to a $72 million deal this offseason, Osweiler has been so bad that Houston fans have taken to GoFundMe to try and buy the quarterback out.
But with the team sitting in first place in the hapless AFC South, head coach Bill O'Brien wasn't inspired to make a switch until five drives into the team's Sunday matchup with the Jacksoville Jaguars.
Those drives ended like so: punt, punt, punt, interception, interception.
When the Houston crowd realized that Tom Savage—who hadn't attempted an NFL pass since 2014—was taking the field instead of Osweiler for drive No. 6, the stadium went nuts.
— Ben King (@BenKing20) December 18, 2016
The move immediately paid off.
Savage drove the Texans to Jacksonville's one-yard line, where they were unsuccessful on a fourth-down attempt. But the field position resulted in a safety after the Jags got the ball back, then the Texans used the resulting short field to drive into field goal range and make it 13-5 going into halftime.
Savage was 23-of-36 for 260 yards with no touchdowns and no turnovers, sparking Houston to a 21-20 comeback victory.
"I just felt like we had to get something going on offense," O'Brien said after his team improved to 8-6 on the year. "We weren't going to win this game, obviously, by scoring 13 points again."
Osweiler, who's thrown 14 touchdowns and 16 interceptions this year, said he understands the benching.
"I completely understand why coach did what he did," Osweiler said. "… It didn't surprise me. When it happened to me prior obviously with a different team and a different season, it was to spark the team and sometimes that's what it takes.
"Obviously, I think there's been a common denominator throughout the season of our offensive struggles. Certainly, not saying it's me, but we need to sit down and we need to figure out what that common denominator is and continue to progress as an offense."
It doesn't necessarily mean he's overjoyed about watching from the sidelines, though.
"As a competitor, anytime you don't play well and get pulled out of the game, of course there's disappointment," Osweiler said. "That's as natural human reaction. Also, there's disappointment because you want to be your best for your teammates. I love this football team. I love my teammates. I love this locker room. I love this coaching staff. You're disappointed that you let them down, but Tom had a huge day. He's been a great friend, a great teammate. Obviously, there's disappointment, but there's joy and there's happiness because this football team won a football game that we needed to win."