Texans’ QB shift to Kyle Allen doesn’t have intended effect, ‘embarrassing’ offensive woes continue in loss to Dolphins

Miami Dolphins linebacker Jaelan Phillips (15) grabs Houston Texans quarterback Kyle Allen (3) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Lynne Sladky, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Davis Mills was on the bench holding a clipboard, charting plays and removed from the action on the field Sunday afternoon.

And Mills, benched as the Texans’ starting quarterback last Wednesday, watched as his replacement, journeyman Kyle Allen, was involved in a nearly identical performance as the lackluster outings Mills delivered during the first nine games of the season.

As Mills watched from the sideline at Hard Rock Stadium, the Texans’ offense remained in the same rut against a stout Miami Dolphins defense during a 30-15 loss that dropped them to 1-9-1 with a misleading final score. The stat lines were eerily similar to Mills’ previous games along with the first-half struggles, slow start and untimely turnovers that have typified the Texans’ unproductive offense this season. It was a completely lopsided game.

“When you’re sitting here at 1-9-1, it’s embarrassing at the end of the day,” Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks said. “We haven’t been good enough. It’s disappointing for the fans, disappointing for all the work we put in. It’s just embarrassing.”

Although Mills lost his starting job as he regressed following an encouraging end to his rookie season last year, the entire offensive offense can’t fairly be blamed on the former third-round draft pick from Stanford. The Texans didn’t cross the 50-yard line in the first half, generating just three first downs and 32 yards of total offense on 25 plays as Allen went 10 for 16 for 59 yards while being sacked three times. He finished with a substandard 67.8 passer rating and two interceptions.

Miami Dolphins linebacker Jaelan Phillips (15) gestures after he sacked Houston Texans quarterback Kyle Allen (3) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Michael Laughlin) (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

“I’m confident, I know I’m a much better player than what I showed today,” Allen said. “Every team is still building, especially us. We have one win. We’re trying to just get a win every week. So, I mean, we’ve just got to keep pushing.

When did the Texans know they were overmatched? Immediately.

“From the moment we came out,” Cooks said. “I’m talking from an offensive standpoint, the moment we stepped out there. That’s truth. That’s facts.”

Allen floated a pass into heavy traffic intended for rookie running back Dameon Pierce that went directly to linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel to set up a Jeff Wilson touchdown run as the Dolphins built a 17-0 lead on their way to a commanding 30-0 halftime edge.

“Just not good enough for me, I just didn’t put our team in any type of position to win today,” Allen said. “The interception early was just a bad ball, I can’t do that. I’ve got to be a lot better if we want to win games.”

Allen finished 26 of 39 for 215 yards with one touchdown.

No, he’s not being replaced by Mills. At least not yet.

“We’re not going to put a guy, give him his first start and start yanking and things like that,” Texans coach Lovie Smith said. “We let a guy play. We want to see him. We’ve got to eliminate those turnovers, but I thought he did some good things throughout the game. But we’re not quite there yet as a team.”

Allen improved in the second half, but it was too late for the Texans to overcome such a rough first half.

“I think Kyle was able to do what he can,” Cooks said. “There’s a lot going on out there. At the end of the day, there’s so much before when it comes to that that needs to be fixed. We all need to be better around him and today simply no one is good enough.

“I look at the game as overall. We want to finish better. In this league, you come out in the first half like this you simply don’t have a chance. It just wasn’t good enough from no one. That’s the way I think about it. I don’t break it up in halves and all that. We lost the game and that’s that.”

The offensive line had a rough game against an aggressive Dolphins defense.

Allen was sacked five times and hit seven times overall, including a sack by outside linebacker Melvin Ingram on a rare one allowed by right tackle Tytus Howard.

The Dolphins were able to insert backup quarterback Skylar Thompson in the third quarter to protect quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the game already safely in hand.

“I feel like I didn’t do enough today to help us,” Howard said. “I gave up a sack early in the game. It’s embarrassing going down 30-0 at the half and then they don’t even have the starting quarterback in the game. We’ve got to find a way to get past this and be a better offense. I feel like I didn’t do enough today.

“It’s everybody. I felt like it’s nothing Davis has done by himself. It’s not a reflection of him. It’s what we do up front. Everybody has a part. Kyle today, I didn’t put him in the best position or give him enough time to make a throw. Everybody has got to play better and help each other.”

Aaron Wilson is a contributor to KPRC 2 and click2houston.com

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