Rookie quarterback Tom Savage wasn't able to help the Texans pull out a win in Indianapolis, but he did show some promise, according to head coach Bill O'Brien.
"He made some decent throws, got us into the right play a couple of times and I was just pleased from what I saw on the sideline," O'Brien said in his post-game press conference.
Savage completed 10-of-19 for 127 yards, one interception, and was sacked once. He was noticeably hard on himself after the Texans 17-10 loss to the Colts.
"Just got a lot to improve on," Savage said of his performance. "We lost and that's the only thing that matters."
He entered the game in the second quarter after Ryan Fitzpatrick left the game with a leg injury. Quarterbacks coach George Godsey and O'Brien altered the play-calling, going back to familiar plays that were installed back in Savage's rookie minicamp with the Texans.
"He was comfortable with that so then we just talked to him about the progression – just get the play call straight, get the formation straight at the line of scrimmage, do a good job of seeing the safeties and the front and how it all works together," O'Brien said. "I thought he settled himself down and he went out there and he played better in the second half."
Savage had a shaky start that included a fumble on the handoff to Arian Foster. The Texans were just 2-of-5 on third down conversions in the second quarter, the second on a 35-yard completion to DeAndre Hopkins. He also threw a 30-yard completion to DeVier Posey in the third quarter, which helped put the Texans in field goal range.
"He throws a nice deep ball and those guys, Posey and Hopkins, made good plays for him," O'Brien said, referring to Savage. "We've got to work on ball handling in practice some more. We work on it every day but he'll get better with that. It's the first time doing it in a regular season game but those are the type of things that we really got to clean up."