Davis Mills unable to build on excellent first half vs. Philadelphia

Quarterback Davis Mills has always seemed to play his best in Houston when totally disregarded. In 2021, his brightest moments were at the end of the season when the Texans were seen as a lost cause. Once again, the team entered a similar situation during their only primetime game of the season on Thursday Night Football against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 9. Houston was a 14-point underdog for the much-anticipated debut of their Battle Red uniforms.

With no expectations and nothing to lose, Mills played arguably his best half of professional football to date.

The second-year quarterback from Stanford was 8 of 9 in the first half for 90 yards and 2 touchdowns. The offense was dominating in the running game and Mills played excellent complimentary football off play action and attacking vertically when Philadelphia over-committed to stopping the run.

The first score of the game came on the opening drive with a goal line touchdown grab off play action to rookie tight end Teagan Quitoriano. The drive was set up in large part by a 34-yard bomb to receiver Phillip Dorsett that highlighted his strength when allowed to throw the ball down the field. The second score came on a scramble where Mills rolled to his left and found Chris Moore in stride crossing the endzone.

It was the type of game that showed the overall talent and skillset that made Mills one of the more praised sleeper quarterbacks entering the 2022 league year.

Of course, the second half was played as well.

Mills ultimately finished 13 of 22 for 154 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. The offense was unable to overcome a series of 3rd and long situations and ultimately the young quarterback made a series of bad decisions in an attempt to compensate.

The first interception was an awful decision where, rather than tuck and run, Mills not only left his footing but fire a wobbly pass into the middle of the field. The play felt like a palpable momentum shift in a contest that, up to that point, Houston looked primed to steal from an unprepared Eagles team.

The second was a desperation heave as the Texans trailed Philadelphia 29-18 in the fourth for what would be the final score.

Overall, despite the extreme ups and downs, it feels as if the Mills story has run somewhat stagnant in Houston. Everyone knows what the best plays look like and can see the overall mechanics and physical talent that had him ranked as the #1 QB recruit exiting high school. Additionally, each game shows a crumbling of Mills when expectations arrive that it’s time to close and potentially win the contest.

General manager Nick Caserio will be in an unenviable position to decide whether or not to move off the second-year quarterback with likely the first overall selection in the draft. Fans with the hopes of drafting a rookie and fans of Davis Mills may continue to see just enough from both sides to dig into their positions.

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire