Brock Osweiler’s return to Denver did not go the way that he wanted, as the Broncos came away with the victory over the Texans, 27-9.
The Broncos got off to a rather slow start in the first quarter, with Trevor Siemian unable to find receivers and the offense looking shaky. The Texans gave us the only scoring of the quarter, with a pair of Nick Novak field goals to make it 6-0.
Denver came alive in the second quarter. Siemian looked much more comfortable and composed, and it made for a better offense all around. The Broncos got on the board after a 7-yard touchdown run by C.J. Anderson, and closed out the half with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Siemian to Demaryius Thomas to make it 14-6 Broncos.
The second half didn’t get any better for the Texans. They put together a nine-play, 72-yard drive but were held to a field goal to narrow the Broncos’ lead to 14-9.
The Broncos offense, despite looking sluggish at times, continued to make plays and move the ball in chunks. Siemian showed flashes, and threw a particularly nice dime to Emmanuel Sanders to put the Broncos at the 2-yard line.
Devontae Booker was able to punch it in three plays later, to give the Broncos a 21-9 lead.
On the ensuing drive, Osweiler somehow found a way to throw a fumble. The ball went about 10 yards, and most of the players on the field thought the play was dead. But Chris Harris Jr. ran up nonchalantly and scooped it, giving the Broncos possession. The play was reviewed, and stood.
Despite the good field position, the Broncos weren’t able to put together another touchdown. They settled for a Brandon McManus 22-yard field goal, putting the Broncos up 24-9 with less than 12 minutes remaining in the game.
As the story had gone through three quarters, the fourth wasn’t any different. Osweiler and the Texans were unable to get anything going on offense. The Broncos defense was relentless, putting pressure on Osweiler all night. Even when he had time, Osweiler still managed to misfire when throwing to receivers.
McManus knocked in one last field goal with 1:57 to go in the game, giving the Broncos a 27-9 lead.
Osweiler finished completing 22 of his 41 passes for 131 yards. His 131 yards are the second-fewest passing yards ever with 40 or more attempts. Only Jesse Palmer had a worse performance back in 2003.
The victory keeps the Broncos tied with the Oakland Raiders for first place in the AFC West at 5-2, in what has become a very competitive division.
For the Texans, they lose out on an opportunity to distance themselves from the rest of the AFC South at 4-3, with the Colts and Titans looming with 3-4 records.