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Why Does Taylor Keep Texans' Starting QB Job?

Veteran Tyrod Taylor will keep his job despite hideous loss in Miami

Houston Texans veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor didn't lose his starting job due to a hamstring injury. Now, Taylor will retain his status as QB1 despite an ugly performance against the Miami Dolphins.

Texans coach David Culley announced Monday that Taylor will start against the Tennessee Titans following this week's bye.

Taylor threw three interceptions during the 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.

"He's been around, he's a veteran," Culley said Monday morning during a press conference at NRG Stadium. "He knew the situation. He just didn't play very well, uncharacteristically of him. I expect him to be much, much better. I expect him to be the same Tyrod that he’s been though his career here.”

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 more. Before this game, Taylor had 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions for his career against the Dolphins in 167 previous throws.

Taylor looked rusty and out of sync. 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 as the Texans finished with four turnovers. 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.

The Texans went 0 for 4 in the red zone; the Dolphins were 2 for 2.

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“Very poor on offense,” Culley said. “Our job on offense is to protect the football. Our job for our quarterback is to protect the football. We didn't do that today. When you do that, you get these results. Our entire football team deserved better. Usually when you get five turnovers from your defense, you expect to win, but not when you have four from your offense.

“You're right, that's unusual for him. His history has always been to protect the football. He didn't do that today. We'll have to look at the video to see why those things happened, but that hasn't been his M.O., but it was today.”

The Texans went 0-6 with rookie quarterback Davis Mills starting. They 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.

Taylor said his poor performance wasn’t because of the leg injury

“I feel good,” he said. “My hamstring isn’t bothering me.”

And Taylor didn’t chalk up his issues to all of the time he missed. He made no excuses.

“I don't think so,” he said. “I walked into this game fully confident in my ability to go out and perform. Just was a lack of execution. That starts with me. I own up to that. I have to be better for our team to have a chance to win. And I'll be better.

“It’s up to me to execute. Obviously, it's a team sport. But I'm the one that touched the ball every play and I have to be better at executing.”

Culley attributed Taylor’s problems to poor choices, nothing else, and not the time missed.

“When you go back to watch the video, you'll see why he did what he did,” Culley said. “I think a couple of then were bad decisions. He tried to throw it out of bounds, didn't get it out of bounds. The first interceptions he had he was trying to throw it in the back of the end zone and he was short. The guy made a play on it.”