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NFL Power Rankings Index: Week 12

Where do the Texans land after their loss to the Commanders?

Washington Commanders v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

What are Houston Texans fans thankful for? What are we, as Texans fans, thankful for this season?

Five total yards on offense in the first half. Is it possible to be thankful for shocking ineptitude? Washington has been on win streak entering this game and are certainly a good defense, but they aren’t the ‘84 Chicago Bears or something. The Washington Commanders, thanks to their quarterback and inconsistency at linebacker, are a very beatable team. What is going on in Houston? What could possibly be happening to be this bad?

Davis Mills is what is happening. Through all the fire and torment, Davis Mills has been the cursed silver lining through it all. That is why, as of today, he is getting benched for Kyle Allen.

It’s time for Kyle Allen!

And just like that, the Davis Mills era is over. After all the surprise and fanfare that concluded a very bad 2021 season, 2022 got to be the slow burn that slowly killed the dreams of Davis Mills. A quick about face for the Texans looking to move on from Deshaun Watson it could have been, but was not meant to be. Bad passes, ugly sacks, and even uglier interceptions made up the stars of the 2022 Texans night sky, for all players and fans alike to wish upon what could have been. Today, their wishes have been answered, and in the face of Kyle Allen, they will seek salvation.

A deeper analysis on the decline, crash, and eventual benching of Davis Mills will be needed, but even in this power rankings index, he should be remembered in some fashion:

While the first play is not his fault at all, it makes the second play sting a little bit more. Plays like these remind us of how far Houston has left to go as team to make players like Davis Mills work, but Davis Mills is never far from reminding us how bad he can be.

It’s always good to be reminded of what you have in football. Even when it is as bad it can possibly get, it gives you a chance to be thankful for the future. Right now, our future is…Kyle Allen. But beyond? Our future can be in the hands of almost anyone - and by that, I mean C.J. Stroud.

Here’s where everyone is rankings the Houston Texans after their loss to the Washington Commanders:


32. Houston Texans (1-8-1)

Week 11 ranking: 32

What/who is underachieving? QB Davis Mills

Mills had an opportunity this season to prove he could be the signal-caller of the future. But he has regressed in a few important categories from his rookie campaign. Mills’ completion rate was 66% then, and it is 61.9% now. His passer rating is 10 points lower this year, and he has already thrown 11 interceptions, which has surpassed his rookie total of 10.

DJ Bien-Aime


32. Houston Texans (1-8-1)

Previous rank: No. 32

You can make a case for a few teams when debating the best team in the NFL right now. It’s less of a debate when singling out which is the worst. The Texans remain stuck on one win after a 23-10 loss to the Commanders in which the offense managed just 148 total yards and were outgained 246-5 in the first half, the fewest net yards in a half in franchise history. “There’s not a whole lot that we’re doing well,” coach Lovie Smith said after Houston’s fifth straight loss. “We’re building. We’re not quite there yet. We’re not a good football team right now.” He said it.

- Dan Hanzus


32. Texans (1-8-1; No. 31): As franchise values go up, maybe Cal McNair should be the one to try to sell his team to Houston native Jeff Bezos.

- Mike Florio


32. Texans (32): While HC Lovie Smith is defending QB Davis Mills as the team’s starter, Houston has built a two-game “lead” on the league for the No. 1 pick of the 2023 draft and the opportunity to choose from what’s expected to be a bumper crop of passers.

- Nate Davis


32. Houston Texans (1-8-1 | last week: 32)

Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud, the current favorite to be the no. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL draft, plays undefeated Michigan on Saturday. Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. and QB Bryce Young, who are second and third, respectively, in no. 1 overall pick odds on FanDuel, host Auburn in the Iron Bowl right after the Ohio State–Michigan game ends. Watch some college football this weekend, Texans fans, as one of those three players will likely be in Houston next season.

- Austin Gayle


32. Houston Texans (1-8-1)

Last week: loss vs. Washington, 23–10

Next week: at Miami

We are clearly transitioning into “Bench Davis Mills” season, which will dovetail nicely into “who are the Texans drafting No. 1 overall?” season. Could Lovie Smith once again secure a No. 1 pick for a wayward franchise like he did in 2014, leading to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ selection of Jameis Winston?

- Connor Orr


32. Texans (1-8-1)

It looked like rock bottom against Washington. They were lifeless for most of that game, which is not a good sign.

- Pete Prisco


32. Houston Texans (1-8-1)

Last Week: 32

Week 11 Result: Lost vs. Washington 23-10

We have officially reached the point in the 2022 season when fans of the Houston Texans would probably be better off rooting for losses than for wins.

Because right now, the Texans need to focus on the future. Toward the first overall pick in 2023. To the pick they will also get from Cleveland as part of the Deshaun Watson trade. Toward C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young or Will Levis.

Toward rebuilding this raging dumpster fire of a team.

The Texans are terrible in just about every way a team can be. Houston is dead last in total offense. 30th in scoring offense. 31st in total defense. The brightest spot on offense is a young running back (Dameon Pierce) who has struggled of late against loaded boxes. The best defensive player may well be a 34-year-old edge-rusher (Jerry Hughes). The Texans haven’t really been competitive in a game since beating the Jaguars for their only win back in Week 5.

Even head coach Lovie Smith’s weekly platitudes have taken on a nihilistic tone.

“There’s not a whole lot that we’re doing well,” he told reporters. “We’re building. We’re not quite there yet. We’re not a good football team right now.”

Whether Smith will be back in 2023 is anyone’s guess.

But this team is going to be blown up in a few months. It has to be. It needs to be.

Because it’s completely, hopelessly broken.

- Gary Davenport, Maurice Moton, Brent Sobleski


32. Houston Texans (1-8-1, Last Week: 32)

The Texans had their worst game of the season, and that’s saying something. They had five yards at halftime. Coach Lovie Smith is entertaining the idea of benching Davis Mills for Kyle Allen, if you want an idea of where the Texans’ season is headed.

- Franch Schwab

Broken? This team is “broken?” I thought this year was supposed to be building upon the “broken” last year! This car crash of a season is not just on the hands of Davis Mills, but also Nick Caserio. Out of all things the Houston Texans could have been this year, the base expectation was to be better than last year. Now, entering the holiday season again, it is clear we are very worst team in football.

Next week, the Texans will visit Miami to get their teeth kicked in by the Miami Dolphins. Of all the terrible elements of our team that were exposed against Washington on Sunday, we can be certain Miami will take advantage of them after Thanksgiving. Maybe, with Kyle Allen, the element of surprise will be enough to make it interesting. Kyle Allen is not a quarterback to get excited over, but he can’t be worse than five yards in a single half.

One thing I am thankful for, despite all the disappointment and exhaustion and sadness, is the Davis Mills neck:

Happy Thanksgiving!

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