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BRB GroupThink: Perceptions About Davis Mills

Do you feel better yet?

NFL: New England Patriots at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Davis Mills led two and a half stinkers in his first spats of NFL football. Last week, against the Patriots, that changed. Davis Mills threw for 300+ yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and had a legitimately great game against New England. Do you think his performance was an outlier, and has your opinion of Mills changed after last week?

This was the question I asked the masthead. These are our responses:


Watching the game LIVE, I didn’t think Mills was all that great, feeling he was more fortunate than anything. Then I sat here, hunched over, and wonderful, and watched THE FILM. His deep throw to Chris Moore, and his touchdown pass to Chris Conley were filthy. The touchdown throw to Conley off the flea flicker, was a rare moment, that hearkened back to his time in Stanford when he throw the ball down the sideline with touch. Tim Kelly did a nice job scheming receivers routes in bunches together so Mills could read one side of the field and have multiple options. And has a quick passer, he got the ball out immediately, in time, and in stride, even to the middle of the field.

Previously, Mills showed nothing that pointed to him being able to be a NFL starting quarterback. It was a dense dark room. There was more light at the bottom of the ocean. That changed this week. Some of the things he did before was there, and there was even more. He was accurate, and had more zest on the ball than he had previously.

Rookie quarterback is an impossible perception. Most eggs don’t hatch, and the ones that do, end up pink, blind, squished, and gloopy, on the Earth. Mills grew a few feathers last week, but I’m still not buying it. I don’t think the first two deep passes were replicable, and he still has problems against pressure. This week he went up a defense that didn’t blitz, and the previous opponents who did, crushed him with it.

Last week was at least something, after not seeing anything. Hopefully he does. Hopefully this team can be watchable once again. That being said, I’m still far from being convinced.


For Davis Mills, the game against the Patriots was one that he should take pride in, especially after the nightmare in Buffalo. Compared with that last start, the New England game showed that he could play quarterback and not be a complete disaster. Was he perfect against the Patriots? No, he wasn’t. However, the Texans did not lose because Mills could not throw the ball to someone wearing the same color jersey (and he could get the ball to players not named Brandin Cooks to boot). In fact, he showed flashes of good quarterbacking.

Yet, Mills is still just a rookie, and one that didn’t have a whole lot of starting experience in college. As long as he is the starter, he will likely yo-yo between good and not-so-good. This was seen in his preseason performances and it is bearing out in the regular season. He does have his limitations, and there is a reason he was the eighth quarterback taken and not the first one in the draft. Now, if he shows more good than bad and looks like he is learning and evolving, I might have a more positive take on the guy.

Am I ready to anoint Mills the next starter for the team and that the Texans can go into the 2022 draft without having to think about a QB? That would be a hard NO! When Taylor comes back and is ready, Culley is indicating that he will start. Yet, given Taylor’s injury history and the expected trajectory of the team, Mills will likely be starting games in the second half of the season. It is incumbent upon him and the coaching staff to make sure he can learn and evolve and not make the same mistakes. If Mills can do that, he may yet evolve into a solid QB option. If not, well, the Texans may be in a good position to pick a better prospect in the next draft.


As of now, I do think this performance was an outlier.

The throw to Chris Moore was luck and not repeatable (Devin McCourty misplayed the kitten out of it). You ain’t gonna get a flea flicker every game, either. That said, if Mills’ best is a 22 point game?

It reminded me, in some ways, of his 2020 game against UCLA. Even at his best, Mills still has a lot of warts.

So, while I think this was an outlier of a game, it’s literally the best he has looked since high school, and that’s something. He threw passes with confidence, velocity, and accuracy he has never shown in his career.

And that, kind readers, might be a thing. Or not.

Unless the offensive line is unable to protect Mills to keep him safe, there is actually no reason TyGod Taylor should take another snap as a Texan. I believe that Mills has one year to show he can be a true, Top 8 NFL QB. If he doesn’t this year, then we should move on from him as a starter in the 2022 draft.*

*Depending on how the prospects shake out, of course, but Matt Corral is looking pretty sweet.


It hasn’t changed, but my opinion of him is not nearly as low as most on the Masthead. I still and have always thought he could be an average to above average quarterback as a ceiling. Why anyone would make a determination in these first few games is beyond my comprehension. Now, DRAFTING him where they did I think deserves all the derision in the world. The player himself—I don’t know how he could really do much with the crap around him. No proven weapons. No running game. A head coach who appears as lost as we expected he would be. Thrown in before he was ready to start (again, an organizational failure not realizing that this was inevitable with Tyrod Taylor as your QB).

I think he’s doing better than we could have expected. But I also expect him to struggle against teams like the Bills.


My opinion remains unchanged. Personally I feel Mills having his best game after a week where he had his worst game just speaks to what he is, a mixed bag. You want your young quarterback to improve along the weeks and in that regard he has looked more comfortable than previous starts. However I saw a very run heavy game plan that made me think this staff would prefer to throw him in a crock pot and slow cook his development as opposed to opening up the concept catalog to his arm. I really don’t mean to belittle Mills however based on his skill set and how he wants to play the game it requires him to be perfect from the pocket, which so far he has not always been. Regardless of if it’s him or TyGOD Taylor starting I still see this team as a lock for a great draft slot in a draft that is light on blue chip prospects.


My opinion of Davis Mills remains largely the same, which is the definition of a milquetoast quarterback. He doesn’t inspire or excite, but I will give him credit that he’s done an admirable job considering the entire lack of a running component to this offense. However, as teams get more tape on Mills, the more he is going to be harassed. For tanking purposes, he’s just what we need. I wouldn’t pass up on Corral or Willis to build around Mills, he just doesn’t look like THE guy to me.


Did last week’s performance against New England change your opinion on Davis Mills?

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