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Former Pitt quarterback Tom Savage earns starting job with Houston Texans

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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It's taken almost three years, but former Pitt quarterback Tom Savage finally has his shot to be a starter in the NFL.

Savage came into the Texans' game last weekend in relief of Brock Osweiler, who was having a rough game. Houston trailed Jacksonville 13-0 in the second quarter when Savage made his entrance. Despite playing only about two and a half quarters, the former Pitt quarterback completed 23 of 36 passes for 260 yards, leading the team to a 21-20 comeback win.

That was enough for Texans coach Bill O'Brien, who has declared Savage the team's starter for this week's game against Cincinnati.

To say Savage was a longshot to start at quarterback coming into this season is putting it mildly and I wrote a little bit about that earlier this year. For one thing, Savage was sidelined with a shoulder injury last year. Then Houston signed Osweiler to a four-year, $72 million contract this offseason. They also re-signed Brandon Weeden in the offseason, who played some last season when the team had all sorts of quarterback problems.

Both of those moves seemed to spell doom for Savage. Osweiler has struggled, though, and Savage has surpassed Weeden on the depth chart, opening the door for him.

Another positive for Savage in all of this is that he isn't exactly leading a bad team on the field. Houston is 8-6 and right in the middle of the playoff hunt, in a tie with the Titans for the AFC South Division lead. Savage isn't only playing, but will be playing some very meaningful games going forward. By the time the regular season is over, he could find himself leading a team in the postseason.

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