Despite second-half collapse, Davis Mills shows promise in loss to Patriots

Mills had his best start yet, after a blowout in Buffalo

Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills throws a pass against the New England Patriots during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith) (Eric Christian Smith, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Rookie quarterback Davis Mills was poised, comfortable, and appeared to be more settled in the Texans’ offense as Houston fell to the Patriots 25-22 at NRG Stadium.

It was the rookie from Stanford’s first win as a starter. Mills previously started against Carolina and Buffalo, the latter of which he had thrown four interceptions and no touchdowns in a 40-0 blowout.

Despite the second-half collapse by the Texans, Mills’ performance was solid and promising. The third-round draft pick was 21 of 29 for 311 yards, had three touchdowns, and no interceptions in Sunday’s loss.

“Just falling back on our roles and the system,” Mills said of his preparation this past week. “Just going out there and trying to do my job and facilitate the ball to the players around me and let them make plays.”

“Davis played well,” said head coach David Culley. “The thing David did today, was Davis protected the football. He was very good in the pocket, he ran our offense very well. He knew going into the game that the most important thing for him to do was to be able to protect the football, and he did that today.”

Offensive Coordinator Tim Kelly also capitalized on underutilized players; until Sunday’s win, Chris Moore had not caught a touchdown pass since 2018. Anthony Auclair had never caught a touchdown, serving mostly as a blocker.

The Texans head to Indianapolis next week for a divisional match-up with the Colts.