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The Continued Degradation of Texans QB Davis Mills?

One of the best rookie QBs last year is among the worst this year?

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Houston Texans Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

At the close of the first quarter of the NFL season, the Houston Texans are in sore need a solid quarterback.

Davis Mills, the guy who ended 2021 with so much promise, has done nothing to prove he’s anything more than a career backup to this point in 2022.

That isn’t to say Mills is trash. No, not at all. The second year passer has made some good throws (not great, but good), and the offense finally seemed to start clicking towards the end of last weekends matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers. But, too little, too late, as they say.

This big completion is a great example of 2022 Mills. The Texans offensive line didn’t do him any favors from the get go. But, there was just enough time that a great quarterback would have hit a large, speedy receiver in stride for six.

Mills takes a moment to plant his feet, then unleashes a bomb, albeit a little off target. Granted, Mills didn’t look off any of the defensive backs, instead, eyeballing Collins the entire time.

The ball falls into Collins’ catch radius, behind the receiver yardage-wise and route-wise. The off-target pass wasn’t enough to prevent Nico from making the catch, but it was enough to force him to shed momentum, allowing the defenders to catch up.

There’s no argument to be made about young players building chemistry. These are two professional athletes who have been on the same team their entire pro careers. Mills should have hit Collins in stride, but he didn’t.

That’s not on Lovie Smith or Pep Hamilton, or even A.J. McCann... it’s on Mills.

That same play with prime Matt Schaub throwing to Andre Johnson would have been a touchdown. As it would have with [NAME REDACTED 2.0] throwing to DeAndre Hopkins. Unfortunately, it was Mills, the big armed, hype-laden passer who didn’t put enough on it.

And, that snapshot of 2022 speaks volumes to the continued degradation of Davis Mills.

H-Town’s field general currently ranks 22nd in the NFL in completion percentage, 19th in passing yards (despite having Brandin Cooks and Collins), 26th in yards per completion, 15th in passing touchdowns, sixth (TIE) in interceptions, eighth in sacks, 29th in QBR and 25th in QB rating.

The Texans finally have a running game, led by rookie Dameon Pierce. The defense isn’t giving the 2012 Texans a run for their money, but they’ve shown flashes. The offensive line isn’t great, but Laremy Tunsil and another rookie, Kenyon Green, are delivering above average performances.

Lastly, offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has proven he can deliver a playoff caliber product.

These are all the outside factors a young quarterback wants to see - and yet Mills is still in the bottom 1.3 of the league in just about every measurable. And, he’s dead last in the one that matters most: wins.

Mills is the sort of quarterback who can come in and not lose the game. He isn’t the sort that will come in and win it all.

Pulling Mills now doesn’t make much sense, since the Texans are fast approaching the “statistically impossible to make the playoffs” mark, ensuring a high draft pick in 2023. However, anyone who’s watched enough ball, or coached at even the lowest levels, should see all they need to decide Mills is not the future on a winning franchise.

Thankfully, there is still hope for the future. It’s just not currently under center.