Earlier this week, the New England Patriots handed Mac Jones the keys to the franchise. And shockingly, they sent Cam Newton back into free agency. Now, it seems as though Cam would be lucky to get a shot with any squad at this point in his career. However, there is at least one team that should be begging for the former MVP’s services: the Houston Texans.
Houston We Have A Problem
Most Texans fans knew that from a football standpoint, life would be rough without Deshaun Watson. After all, he was at the top of the league in yards, completion percentage, passer rating, and more last season. Yet, due to the lack of talent around him, this still only led to four Houston victories.
And, since Watson’s request to be traded back in January, the Texans are have been forced to settle with veteran Tyrod Taylor and rookie Davis Mills at the position. Houston’s offense is in for a long season, to say the least.
Firstly, there’s Davis Mills, who the Texans drafted in the third round of the draft on the off chance that he could carry the franchise into a new era. Unfortunately, he hasn’t come close to this expectation so far. Keep in mind, it is way too early to judge a rookie’s entire career. But, as of right now, Mills does not look like a pro-ready quarterback.
The biggest issue is that he struggles to read defenses, even the basic ones that he’s seen throughout the preseason. Mills also has trouble when it comes to throwing outside the numbers, which is where quarterbacks establish themselves as capable NFL passers.
Both of these issues were on display in the Texans’ most recent preseason game versus the Buccaneers. Mills threw three interceptions and failed to complete above fifty percent of his passes. One plus is that he has continued to show flashes of great arm talent throughout the summer. But, it’s going to take some more time before the raw talent translates into applicable skill.
Tyrod Taylor, on the other hand, has not been as bad as Mills. But he too has not done anything notable during his limited preseason snaps. In three games Taylor attempted 18 passes for a total of 81 yards. That comes out to a poor 4.5 yards per attempt. So, while there is definitely more to be seen from him, Taylor is already playing it too conservatively. He doesn’t push the ball downfield, and can only move the offense effectively when there is a strong run game supporting his passing.
To summarize, the Texans’ quarterback play has been well below average, especially compared to what Deshaun Watson brought to the table just a year ago. However, the argument can be made that it’s nothing to worry about because the rest of the roster isn’t any better.
So why don’t the Texans just throw Davis Mills into the fire and proceed to tank? Well, because the rest of the roster actually isn’t all that bad, specifically the defense. If nothing else, Houston should invest in a decent signal-caller to keep the spirits of its defense up. A defense, that showed potential to be near the top of the league based on preseason alone.
Superman Saves The Texans
Cam Newton and the Texans would both like to see that headline shortly. To set things straight, however, it’s safe to assume that Cam won’t suddenly be able to carry the Texans into the playoffs. Like Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills, he too has become inaccurate and more reliant on his legs than arm strength. To make matters worse, his situation doesn’t exactly improve going from New England to Houston for obvious reasons.
However, there are also several reasons why Cam is, at the least, better than what the Texans have now. The first is availability and experience. While he isn’t always fully healthy, Cam is tough and started an impressive fifteen games for the Patriots last season. He did this despite many obstacles, including the contraction of COVID-19.
On the contrary, while not always his fault, Tyrod Taylor has only started four games since 2017. And of course, Davis Mills is an inexperienced rookie, who only has thirteen college starts.
Next, aside from the common weak points, Cam’s skill set is also better than Houston’s QB’s. Last season, he threw for over 2,500 yards, completed over 65% of his passes, and also ran for an additional 500 yards. He had 13 total touchdowns to 10 interceptions.
Now, these aren’t the most impressive stats. But, they do show that Cam was able to produce somewhat efficiently despite tough circumstances. Particularly when it comes to rushing, Houston appears to be taking a similar approach to New England’s running back by committee method. Adding Cam’s threat on the ground to this committee could open up the playbook for offensive coordinator Tim Kelly, and allow for more creativity.
Lastly, the best thing about Cam Newton is his personality and attitude. Some may call it a distraction, Cam’s energy is much needed for a Texans team that will have many low points this year. Additionally, while every NFL player works hard, Cam has had an immense amount of setbacks in his career. Yet, his work ethic has never waivered which shows his character and ability to persevere.
These are all things that aren’t measurable, but they certainly make Cam who he is as a player and leader. He can at least be the guy to come in and help establish a strong culture to start the rebuilding process. For a team with nothing to lose, this is just as instrumental as on-field ability.
Overall, the Texans just need help at quarterback. It doesn’t have to be Cam Newton, but he isn’t the worst option, especially compared to what Houston has now. His vibrant personality can get the team through at least this season, and then whoever the Texans select in the 2022 draft can takeover. It’s not the ideal situation for Cam to be in, but at least he’ll get one last shot as an NFL starter.