It’s tough to stuff your Thanksgiving plate with any Houston Texans football this season. The team is truly as bad as your aunt’s green bean casserole she brings every year, no one eats, but lord knows no one it going to tell auntie that her casserole is so horrific they’d rather watch four quarters of Davis Mills-led football.
But wait, the Houston Texans have benched Davis Mills, who himself is going to earn a moniker similar to [NAME REDACTED] if he doesn't improve before season’s end. And maybe this year you do tell your aunt her casserole tastes like a ebola-ridden pot of grass.
Rather than looking forward to two smelly options, we should examine if the Texans offensive performance thus far should ominously be heralded as the worst in team history.
Once the dust has settled on the season, we’ll do a statistical review of this season compared to other bad ones (which there’s plenty of which to compare). For now, let’s review the qualitative analysis of your Battle Red Blog Masthead:
Frankly, the biggest difference between the 2021 version of Davis Mills and the 2022 model is luck. Pure, dumb, stupid luck.
You see, dear reader, Mills had a real penchant for lucky and fluky plays in 2021. There was the long TD to Chris Moore that was misplayed by two defensive backs, and then there were two flea flickers that led to touchdowns. And that’s it. That’s the difference.
What this ultimately means is that Mills is currently the 31st ranked QB by DYAR, just barely ahead of Baker Mayfield. That’s David Carr in his rookie season bad. The 2002 Houston Texans had one of the worst offensive lines of all-time, as there were some mishaps (cough Tony Boselli cough) along the way. The 2022 Texans line hasn’t been great - it’s been mostly mediocre - but they are giving up sacks at about half the rate of the 2002 squad.
I wouldn’t say the 2022 Houston Texans offense is the worst in team history, but this is the worst QB play the team has ever seen. Let’s say that the 2022 Texans are the second worst offense in team history, just barely worse than the 2005 squad.
Well, at least the defense is terrible, too!
The worst offense in team history? Even for this youngest of NFL franchises, there are no shortage of qualified candidates for that title. The expansion season saw the team unable to average more than 14 points a game. The implosion of 2005 where offense could not break 20 save a couple of times. The needless pain of 2016, where a playoff-caliber defense was anchored by a horrid offense, especially the passing game. The lost season of 2017, when Watson was lost to injury and the offense was so lifeless, you could have put 11 actual zombies on the offensive side of the ball and it would be hard to tell the difference.
Still, the 2022 variant is making a legitimate case. The regression of Davis Mills is painful to watch, and it is almost a surprise when there is a decent pass play of mention. I am having a hard time determining if the passing game failures are all on Mills because the receivers can’t help him, or the receivers can’t do anything because Mills is so bad. The pass protection is somewhere between mediocre and suck, which doesn’t help. Pierce has already clinched the offensive MVP for the team, but he can’t do it alone, and when the line fails, it is so bad, there is little for him to do. Now, I don’t think the team’s points per game will fall to 2002 levels in the end, but at least the 2002 team had the expansion excuse and some defensive talent. There are pieces for the future, but the here and now is as bad as it gets.
I think relative to expectations it is easily the worst offense in franchise history. The first couple of expansion teams were bad and maybe statistically worse. Of course, that’s also relative to every other team in the league. The bigger question is why and where they go from here. I refuse to think that even this group of players is this bad on their own. We’ve seen too many other teams with new coaching staffs do better than this. Heck, some of those head coaches might get flushed themselves. Hackett in Denver and McDaniels in Las Vegas probably are dead coaches walking. They are better than this. There are numerous coaches that could take this group of players and win at least a few games. They could get these players playing better than this. Eventually someone has to take the fall for this team being this bad.
I’m going to have more thoughts on this later but this could be the very worst iteration of the Houston Texans I’ve ever seen. Even the 2014 team, which was the example we set for crash-and-burn teams, got four wins at the end of the year. At this rate, the only wins this team will get are against teams already in the playoffs and resting their starters against real competition.
Not just on offense, but as a whole.
This is one of the worst offensive performances in league history. It’s frankly a terrible look, but the fact is this team doesn’t execute at all. Mills takes long sacks on third downs. The line has reverted to the worst possible version of itself. Even a Green is no longer holding up after starting the season so promising. Nico Collins and Cook are dropping catchable balls. It’s become an ongoing comedy of underwhelming tragedy