"I would say he's our quarterback," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said. "We're going to stick with him. He's playing really well. He's playing at a high level. Got a lot of confidence in him."
Hoyer completed the process of earning back his head coach's trust in the Texans' 31-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. In the past three games, Hoyer, who started Week 6 and entered in relief of then-starter Ryan Mallett in Weeks 4 and 5, has the best Total QBR (90.9) of any quarterback and the third-best passer rating in the league (113.6).
"He works very hard, he prepares," O'Brien said. "It has a lot to do with being a professional. When things weren't going well for him early in the year, I think he approached it in a very professional way. I think it was a great example for younger players in this organization to watch how he approached that."
Hoyer began the season as the Texans' declared starter, but after three and a half difficult quarters, O'Brien pulled him from the game with 6:10 remaining and the Texans trailing the Kansas City Chiefs 27-9. Hoyer had turned the ball over twice inside the Texans' 15-yard line -- first throwing an interception after a miscommunication with receiver DeAndre Hopkins and then fumbling the ball as he was sacked.
"I thought it was in the best interest of the team at the time to make that decision," O'Brien said. "I don't look back on those things. Don't regret any decisions that I've made as it relates to this team. I just know Hoyer approached it very well. Brian approached it very well. Like a true professional that he is."
Mallet went 1-3 in his four starts, with a Total QBR of 48.2 and a passer rating of 59. He completed 52.2 percent of his passes with 5.01 yards per attempt.
Before the start against the Indianapolis Colts, O'Brien said the short week was part of why they didn't make a quarterback change. With the Texans trailing 13-0 in the second quarter, O'Brien decided to pull Mallett. Mallett left the game after having the wind knocked out of him, but was not put back in even after he was ready. Instead, Hoyer took over, completing 24 of 31 attempts and throwing two touchdown passes and an interception. The Texans lost 27-20, but O'Brien saw enough to turn back to Hoyer.
Before the Texans played Jacksonville, O'Brien only said Hoyer would start against the Jaguars. Afterward, he was ready for a longer commitment.
"He's been around for a while," O'Brien said. "He's been through the ups and downs in this league. He's been injured, he's been cut, he's been everything that you guys have written about him. Good and bad. I think he showed up this week in practice and it showed up on the field."