Welcome back to the sad power rankings!
New York appeared to be the straw that broke the camel’s back:
Lovie Smith on not being time to bench Davis Mills: 'Davis Mills had an interception, like a lot of quarterbacks in the NFL did. We evaluate everything every position does. QB some positions we never rotate. You let that guy play.'— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) November 14, 2022
Lovie Smith asked about slow starts for Davis Mills in the first half - who has averaged less than 50 yards passing in the first half the last 3 games #Texans pic.twitter.com/5O78OCWmuG— Shaun Bijani (@ShaunBijani) November 14, 2022
As collective spectators of the Houston Texans, we have all now surged past the question of whether or not Davis Mills is actually “good” and entered the territory where he is most certainly bad and needs to be directly defended from getting benched. Gone are the days of speculating what exciting offenses would be authored under the Mills &
Mack Pierce backfield if he continued to improve from last year to this year. In its wake, mediocrity and disappointment so sharp that Kyle Allen’s name begins to come out of the fog.
You were correct to be frustrated with Davis Mills on this play. Sound on. pic.twitter.com/LaZ0Gzsxkx— Seth C. Payne (@SethCPayne) November 14, 2022
Lovie Smith on what gives him the confidence in Mills #Texans pic.twitter.com/FkKR34CYBT— Shaun Bijani (@ShaunBijani) November 14, 2022
While I don’t think seeing Kyle Allen become a starter is very likely, the fact that this is a question that demands to be entertained is really telling for how the season has gone for the Texans. The only momentum or positive feelings harbored for the Texans, besides the “better than expected” atmosphere that surrounded the team during the preseason, was after they beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 13-6. This has been another slow and muddy season where points are hard to come by and squandered opportunities dot every game. Scarred tissue at this point for Texans fans entering year two of the pain-train, seeking any reprieve.
This year, complete disaster has been evaded by Dameon Pierce:
Dameon Pierce showing why he's a strong candidate for OROY pic.twitter.com/bXs3v2fjQ0— DJ Bien-Aime (@Djbienaime) November 13, 2022
Pierce has been the only consistent method for getting yards this year, but even he would offer a great twist of the blade to the hearts of Texans fans against the Giants on Sunday:
Similar to the New York Giants of last year, once the Texans started making massive, negative plays on the only element of the offense was really working, there was nothing stopping them from being considered the worst the NFL has to offer.
Here’s where everyone is rankings the Houston Texans after their loss to the New York Giants:
32. Houston Texans (1-7-1)
Week 10 ranking: 32
Who was on the hot seat in preseason: QB Davis Mills
Temperature of seat right now: Hot
The Texans’ games have mostly come down to the fourth quarter. There have been a few games in which Mills had the opportunity to lead the team to a win with his arm. But he just hasn’t. The final quarter is his worst, as he has a passer rating of 62 and has thrown five interceptions with only two touchdowns. The offense has averaged 3.3 points in the fourth quarter, ranked for 30th in the NFL. And the Texans have converted only eight third downs in the fourth quarter, which also ties for 30th in the NFL. For Mills to prove he is the Texans’ QB of the future, he needs to make plays in the final frame.
— DJ Bien-Aime
32. Houston Texans (1-7-1)
Previous rank: No. 31
While the passing game remains stuck in cement, Dameon Pierce continues to be the lone beacon of light in the Texans offense. The fourth-round pick — a contender for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors — did most of the heavy lifting in a 24-16 loss to the Giants, finishing with 122 scrimmage yards, including a game-high 44-yard run that set up Houston’s only points of the first half. Pierce is on pace to rush for nearly 1,500 yards and has added 22 catches and a touchdown in the passing game. It’s not a stretch to say Pierce is the offense. Get the guy some help.
- Dan Hanzus
PRO FOOTBALL TALK:
31. Texans (1-7-1; No. 31): They’re arguably the best 1-7-1 team in league history.
- Mike Florio
32. Texans (31): Disgruntled WR Brandin Cooks returned to the lineup Sunday...less his captaincy but providing all of 42 yards. Another net loss.
- Nate Davis
32. Houston Texans (1-7-1 | last week: 32)
Rookie RB Dameon Pierce remains fun to watch, but everything else in Houston isn’t. Every losing week should draw more excitement around the fact that he’ll be playing with Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud next season.
- Austin Gayle
32. Houston Texans (1-7-1)
Last week: loss at New York Giants, 24–16
Next week: vs. Washington
The Texans stripped one of their few veteran players of the captaincy before Sunday’s game, which should give an indication as to where they are emotionally and cohesively. Honestly, if a team is operating in this pedantic space this deep into the season, it’s indicative of larger problems.
- Connor Orr
32. Texans (1-7-1)
They aren’t getting blown out, which is the good news. The bad is they aren’t winning games. But this season is done. It’s about 2023 and building with all the draft picks they have.
- Pete Prisco
32. Houston Texans (1-7-1)
Last Week: 32
Week 10 Result: Lost at New York Giants 24-16
In terms of victories (or lack thereof), the Houston Texans are the worst team in the NFL. If the 2022 season ended today, the Texans would pick first and ninth. That first overall pick is a coveted asset given how highly regarded the 2023 class at quarterback is. Houston’s current quarterback told reporters after Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants that he’s sick and tired of losing.
“Obviously, the frustration is there,” Davis Mills said. “No one likes losing, especially me. That’s probably the worst feeling I can ever imagine, is losing something when you’re putting in all the hours to go out there and win games and it’s just not happening.”
However, head coach Lovie Smith continued to insist that the Texans aren’t far off from being competitive.
“We realize what the problem is and what the results say a little bit, but we are close,” Smith said. “Eventually I do feel like we’re going to get over the hump. So far, we just finished the first half of the season but we still can see promise for the second half.”
“The Texans can talk about ‘getting closer’ until they are red and blue in the face,” Davenport quipped. “But numbers don’t lie. The numbers say that the Texans possess the fourth-worst offense in terms of yards. The fifth-worst offense in terms of points. The third-worst defense in terms of yards. And the 12th-worst defense in terms of points. The Texans may well have their choice of the quarterbacks in the 2023 draft. But they also need to build a team around that signal-caller.”
- Gary Davenport, Maurice Moton, Brent Sobleski
32. Houston Texans (1-7-1, Last Week: 32)
The only reason to watch the Texans is Dameon Pierce. It’s a good reason; he’s a dynamic back. He had another 94 rushing yards in Sunday’s loss. He’ll have a good case for Offensive Rookie of the Year if voters don’t hold the Texans’ record against him (and they shouldn’t).
- Frank Schwab
Next week, the Houston Texans host the red-hot Washington Commanders, who just ended the Philadelphia Eagles’ undefeated season on Monday night.
Once upon a time, these teams were seen as similar in quality - both with one win in the first five weeks of the season. Entering the sixth week, these teams’ journeys to the top 10 pick when demonstrably different paths. Washington rallied behind backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke and went 4-1 in the next five games, three of which came against sub .500 teams, and the other went 0-4 behind diminishing play from Davis Mills, three of which coming against winning teams.
Even though most of their wins are against bad opponents, the Washington Commanders won the games they had to and got back into the fold of the postseason hunt. Then, against Philadelphia, Washington got the big, momentum-swinging victory in November that can change everything. The Texans could have beaten the Eagles last week on Thursday night, but that would not have changed the outcome of the season since they never turned the pressure they were under into a winning streak. Now, all the Texans can do is play spoiler, something that has earned the 32nd spot on power rankings.
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