Scripting the first 10 or so plays in the NFL is quite common, and the Houston Texans have been known to do so.
Given scripting plays is a possibility, it made the interception Davis Mills threw that was returned for a touchdown on the second offensive play all the more puzzling. The second-year signal caller was throwing a 2-yard out to receiver Brandin Cooks that cornerback Kendall Fuller intercepted and returned 37 yards for a touchdown to put Washington ahead 7-0 early in the first quarter in Week 11 at NRG Stadium.
According to Mills, who finished the game going 19-of-33 for 169 yards and two interceptions, scripting plays is irrelevant if players aren’t executing.
“We have situations and plays that are scripted for pretty much every play in the game, but if you can’t win your one-on-one matchups up front, that’s tough,” Mills told reporters after the 23-10 loss. “We have to execute better, find ways to be creative and just make some plays.”
Coach Lovie Smith elaborated on the concept of Houston scripting plays.
“When we say scripted, we have an idea of what we want to do at the start of most games, absolutely,” said Smith. “But sometimes things happen in that script that can get you off. An interception for a touchdown can get you off a little bit.
“But I’m going to go back on today when, you know, you just make one little change, and everything is good. We’re talking about today’s game. We’re not going to bring in last year or anything, just today’s game. When we were dominated up front, it was hard to get anything going. Was there a script before? Yes, there was a script before. But, again, when you can’t get movement up front, everything is going to be pretty much the same. That’s going to be the answer in the NFL any time any game as I see it.”
The script for the 2022 Texans is they are on pace to finish with the worst record in the league — currently 1-8-1 — and secure the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft.