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Mallett Cries, Hoyer Thrives as Houston’s QB Carousel Rolls Along


The Indianapolis Colts were missing one of the toughest and most talented young quarterbacks in the game on Thursday night. Instead, they started Matt Hasselbeck, a 40-year-old man who had spent most of the night before in hospital with a bacterial infection, but it was still enough to earn a division win against the woeful Texans and the dumpster fire they have simmering at quarterback.

After an ineffective opening to the game, Ryan Mallett gingerly jogged off the field after receiving a helmet to the ribs. He would not return for the rest of the night, as Brian Hoyer took his place and played well enough in defeat to potentially reclaim the starting role.

Hoyer impressively racked up 300 yards in just over two quarters of football. His two touchdowns were good enough to pull Houston out of a 13-0 hole, but a late interception care of some miscommunication cost the valiant journeyman.

Mallett appeared visually peeved as he stood isolated on the sidelines, helmet on his head, waiting in vain for his chance to return. His body language evoked a strange combination of frustration and jealously. Even his celebrations after touchdowns were brief and unanimated, almost as if he knew he had to celebrate, but could never bring himself to feel happy for his replacement.

Andrew Luck meanwhile, was his usual jolly self as his team inched closer to a 3-2 record, including an all-important 3-0 within the division. He patted, slapped and high-fived anyone who made a big play, probably because he knew job security wasn’t something to worry about.

As for Houston, they are as good as their 1-4 record suggests. Although Hoyer has looked like the better option of late – he led the Texans on three straight scoring drives to end their huge defeat to Atlanta last week – he has started many a game before, and with uninspiring results.

In week 1, Hoyer was pulled for Mallett after a stat line that, in retrospect, Mallett probably couldn’t be counted on to reproduce in any given week. One of two things will happen at training camp this week: either the boobish O’Brien names Mallett the starter to save face, or Hoyer to “save” the Texans from the first overall pick in April.

Either way, the outcome will be more deserved disdain from an embarrassed fanbase looking down the barrel of another wasted season.

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