The 4-2 Texans are coming to Denver this weekend for a matchup with the 4-2 Broncos, but that storyline -- two AFC playoff contenders clashing -- won't be the predominate narrative of the game. It'll be all about Brock Osweiler's return.
For the first time since he spurned them in free agency after the Broncos' Super Bowl run, Osweiler, now the Texans' quarterback, will face the Broncos on Monday night. The game is still six days away, but the story is already getting started.
On Monday, Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall shared his thoughts on playing against Osweiler. According to ABC 7 in Denver, Marshall said that he's "happy" Osweiler got paid this offseason.
He added, though, that the Broncos defense wants to "kill" Osweiler.
#Broncos Brandon Marshall, smiling: "It's Brock. We know Brock. He came from here. And we want to kill him. That's just what we want to do."— Paul Klee (@bypaulklee) October 17, 2016
The bad news for Osweiler: That might actually happen -- obviously not in the sense he'll die, but in the sense he'll be hammered all game long. To this point, the Broncos have garnered the fourth-most sacks, 17, in the NFL. Von Miller is second in the NFL with 7.5 sacks.
And Osweiler struggles under duress. According to Pro Football Focus, Osweiler's passer rating drops to 23.2 when he's pressured. On those 81 dropbacks, he's completed 25 passes. He's averaging 3.5 yards per attempt. He's been picked off four times and he's been sacked 12 times.
In fairness to Osweiler's performance under pressure, he also stinks when he's not pressured. So far this season, Osweiler's has not lived up to the gigantic contract the Texans handed him this spring. He's completing 59 percent of his passes and averaging 6.18 yards per pass. He's thrown eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. His 74.1 passer rating ranks 29th in the league.
Meanwhile, the Broncos' defense ranks fourth in DVOA, fourth in yards allowed per game, and eighth in points allowed per game. They've generated the fifth-most takeaways in the league.
Marshall's dreams might come true. It has all the makings of a bloodbath.