Texans veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor didn't lose his starting job due to a hamstring injury.
And Taylor will retain his status as QB1 despite an ugly performance Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
Texans coach David Culley announced Monday that Taylor will start against the Tennessee Titans following a bye.
Taylor threw three interceptions during a 17-9 loss to the Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in his first game back from a Grade 2 hamstring strain suffered during the second game of the season against the Cleveland Browns.
“Tyrod will start,” Culley said. “We can sit here and give him an excuse that he hasn’t played in six weeks, but he’s been around, he’s practiced, he’s a veteran. We knew the situation going in.
“ He knew the situation going in. He just didn’t play very well. Uncharacteristically of him, he just didn’t play well. I know he hasn’t had in his career in any game where he’s thrown three interceptions or had that kind of football game.”
The Texans are on an eight-game losing streak after the offense went 0 for 4 in the red zone and committed four turnovers This was Taylor’s first game back and he looked rusty, out of sync and was inaccurate as he missed a wide open Danny Amendola to squander a potential touchdown pass. He also had an inexplicable error on an interception from linebacker Jerome Baker while he was trying to throw it away out of bounds.
Taylor completed 23 of 34 passes for 240 yards, no scores and a 42.8 passer rating. He was under heavy duress, sacked five times and hit nine times overall. Before this game, Taylor had 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions for his career against the Dolphins in 167 previous throws.
“I did not expect what we got out of him, no,” Culley said. “I expect him to be much, much better. I expect him to be the same Tyrod that he’s been through his career.”
For a player whose game is built around rhythm and precision, this wasn’t up to his usual high standard.
“Bad decisions, something I need to get better at to give us an opportunity to win games,” Taylor said Sunday. “Especially on the road, turnovers are critical. It’s uncharacteristic of me, but it happened and it's something I have to clean up. And I'll do that moving forward.”
Instead of sparking the Texans after winning his first start of the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Taylor threw his first interceptions of the season.
“That’s not just on Tyrod,” linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill said. “If I sat out for seven weeks and just came back in, sometimes you have your comeback game, sometimes you don’t. It’s not just on Tyrod. I’m not saying that at all. I don’t think we lose any hope in that aspect at all. We know what Tyrod can do and we know we’ll be fine.”
Taylor was picked off when he tried to throw to wide receiver Brandin Cooks in the end zone at the start of the game when he got hit as he let go of the football.
“We had a talk about it,” Culley said. “Basically, we had a talk about it just to keep him encouraged that, ‘Look, you haven’t gone through this. This is the first time you’ve gone through this.’ He felt like going into that game that if he played well, we would have a chance to win the game, and he didn’t.
“I just wanted to ensure him that next time around, when we go to Tennessee, it’s going to be better and he’s going to be better and we are going to have a chance to win if he plays like he should.”
The Texans went 0-6 with rookie quarterback Davis Mills starting. The Texans went back to Taylor because they said he represents their best chance to win football games. Instead of turning things around, though, it was more of the same as the Texans lost yet another game and are now in sole possession of last place in the AFC South with the Jacksonville Jaguars winning Sunday.
One day after the debacle in Miami, losing to a team that halted its seven-game losing streak, teammates expressed confidence in Taylor’s skills and approach.
“I still have all the faith in the world in Tyrod,” Texans safety Justin Reid said. “He’s a vet. He’s proven himself time and time again that he’s a quarterback that deserves to be a starting quarterback in the league. He just had an off day; the whole offense did as a whole. That happens.
I know he’s going to come back. He’s hard on himself, too. He’s going to be ready to go. But you did feel it though even with his leadership and presence back, that there was just a better energy because he’s a true leader on this team and guys follow behind his lead. He’s one of our leaders. I’m going continue to fight behind him, everyone on the defense and everyone on the team is going to continue to fight behind him.”