By quarterback rating, the worst start by a quarterback in Houston Texans franchise was when David Carr took on the San Diego Chargers in 2002. He completed 6 of his 25 passes (24%) for 29 yards and threw 0 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and was sacked 9 times. His quarterback rating was 8.2.
Davis Mills, in his second career NFL start today, somehow may have sunk deeper than David Carr ever did. Mills completed 11 of his 21 passes for 87 yards, averaging 4.1 yards an attempt, threw 0 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, and was sacked 3 times to lose 26 yards. His quarterback rating was 23.4. We almost entered David Carr territory.
Houston’s offensive gameplan was similar to last week against the Panthers on Thursday Night Football. It was run heavy, but the runs didn’t go anywhere. Houston averaged 2.7 yards a carry. Phillip Lindsay had 4 rushes for -1 yards, David Johnson had 5 for 21 yards, Mark Ingram II had 6 for 24 yards, and Rex Burkhead had 1 carry for -1 yards. Against stacked boxes, the heavily invested in offensive line couldn’t do anything.
Mills only completed two passes. Screens, but Houston can’t block them. Outs and curls/comebacks to the sideline after running quick boots. That’s it. Mills’ awareness in the pocket is a 21 in Madden ‘21. The down-to-down accuracy isn’t there. He still hasn’t completed anything down the field to open up anything shorter.
The Texans’ defense fared better. They forced three fumbles but didn’t recover any of them. They picked off Josh Allen once. The red zone defense was stingy. Facing numerous drives, without their offense giving them a breather, made it impossible to limit Buffalo’s overwhelming offense over the course of an entire game. At times, it felt like Buffalo was running to prepare for Kansas City next week; at other times, the Bills’ passing offense was the juggernaut we’ve seen the last two years. The Bills are a true Super Bowl contender. The Texans are probably going to be 1-7 by the time Tyrod Taylor comes back.
I picked Houston to lose 41-10 in this one. Even I, sour and twisted as I am, gave Davis Mills too much credit. Houston lost by 40 points. This is the worst loss in franchise history, eclipsing the 38 they lost by to Jacksonville in 2017. Houston is aimless and lost without Tyrod Taylor. They failed this squad and Davis Mills by not having another quarterback who could back up Taylor, creating the failure we have seen the last two weeks.
The Texans play the Patriots next Sunday at 12 p.m. CDT at NRG Stadium.