In a matchup of maligned quarterbacks, Texans QB Brock Osweiler looked remarkably competent Saturday, completing 14 of 25 passes for one touchdown and no interceptions and leading Houston to an easy-looking 27–14 win over the Raiders. Next up: The New England Patriots. Can Osweiler be the Texans’ Trent Dilfer and lead a solid defense to a Super Bowl? Superfan Shea Serrano gives his thoughts on The Ringer NFL Show.
Listen to the full podcast here. This transcript has been edited and condensed.
Why Shea Serrano Never Doubted Brock Osweiler
Kevin Clark: Just to be clear, Shea and Brock Osweiler’s family were the only two groups of people that believed in Brock Osweiler still.
Robert Mays: Shea, what was it like for you?
Shea Serrano: It was incredibly fulfilling, is what it was. To watch [Brock Osweiler] throw the ball and somebody at the other end catch it felt so good. It felt, just, perfect, is what it felt like.
Mays: What was the reason that you had kept holding out hope [that Osweiler would be good]? Is it because you didn’t have any other chance? Was it like a Stockholm syndrome sort of scenario?
Serrano: No, I just saw. I looked in his eyes, through the TV, when they announced that they had traded for him. I just knew that greatness was ahead.
Mays: He is very tall and very handsome. I mean, there’s a lot to like about what he physically looks like as a quarterback. But I would say, over the last four months, most of that goodwill had fallen away from me and I assume most of the people of Houston.
Serrano: Yes. Everybody here hates him. It’s very obvious. They hated him so much until Sunday.
Mays: How does it feel now?
Serrano: They hate him less. They hate him 40 percent now. They’re still wondering [if] Tom Savage [is] going to start next week, that’s where we are.
So, Can the Texans Beat the Patriots?
Mays: So, based on what happened on Saturday — with Brock making those couple throws — this one down the sidelines to DeAndre Hopkins is the one that comes to mind. That’s just a ball that was not there at any other points in the season. Him completing crossing routes to C.J. Fiedorowicz and Ryan Griffin is like, “OK, that’s fine, I’ve seen that a little bit before.” But that heave down the sideline was new. Does any of this — with him doing that, with Clowney just turning into whatever he is right now — give you the slightest semblance that the Texans can beat New England next week?
Serrano: One hundred percent, yes. That pass that he threw, he had been trying to make that pass all season for the first 14 games, or something like that. And every time he threw it, like, fucking 12 yards out of bounds or something.
Mays: It’s so true.
Serrano: And he finally didn’t. He finally didn’t throw it out of bounds, and DeAndre caught it. I think he just figured out that DeAndre Hopkins is on his team. When that happened he was like, “Wait a sec.”
Clark: They met about two hours before game time, they were in the same restaurant, and they were like, “Where do you play? Oh wow!”
Mays: “You look tall, what do you do for a living?”
The Texans’ Three Super Bowl Scenarios
Serrano: There are three strings of reality that we’re going to walk down right now. I think we’re either looking at the Super Bowl from 2000, when the Ravens won and Trent Dilfer was their quarterback. That’s really all we need from Brock. Just to be Trent Dilfer for a month. You can do that. You should be able to do that. That’s a third-place scenario.
Second-place scenario, we’re looking at the 2012 Super Bowl, when Joe Flacco just didn’t screw up and he was great in the playoffs and they won that Super Bowl.
Or the no. 1 scenario that I think we’re looking at: I think [Osweiler] is tall Tom Brady. I think this is . In that case, Tom Brady came in for Drew Bledsoe. Brock had to lose his spot to Tom [Savage], so he could come in behind Tom and take his spot back. You know what I’m saying? It’s all there.
It’s in your face, just look at it, open your eyes, guys!
How J.J. Watt Helped the Team Win
Clark: What do you think of all the J.J. Watt sideline shots after every time Whitney Mercilus or Jadeveon Clowney does something?
Serrano: Yeah, that’s great. It’s great for J.J. that he’s still affecting the game on the sideline. Like, when Jadeveon intercepted that ball, that was a great play that J.J. helped make. Without J.J. on the sideline, Jadeveon never makes that play, is what it feels like. So that was great.
Mays: As the resident J.J. Watt defender, I have to speak up here, as he’s been slandered nonstop for the past four days. Isn’t it somewhat of ESPN’s fault? The fact that at every single turn, they’re going to show him?
Clark: No, wrong. He was out in the middle of the field between plays hollering instructions to Jadeveon Clowney. Defensive linemen have like five different coaches, they don’t need another one in a fleece.
Serrano: He’s the new Captain America. I think he wants to be, like, the football version of the Rock. He’s eventually just going to go down that path. He’s got to be out there. But, that said, I’m excited for Jadeveon. It’s all falling into place. We’re going to win the Super Bowl. We’re going to have the same conversation in a month, and I’m going to be like, “I told y’all.” And you guys are going to be like, “Yeah, you did.” That’s going to happen.
Even if we’re talking about Jadeveon as the new J.J. Watt, this is his first playoff game. In J.J. Watt’s first playoff game, he had that same interception, where he ran back for a touchdown, that really shot him into stardom. Both in the first half, both led to victory. This is the universe tying up all these loose ends to make this perfect bow for the Houston Texans.