Texans Wire Countdown to 49ers: 10 factors for Week 17

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  • Houston Texans
    Houston Texans
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Davis Mills
    Davis Mills
    American football quarterback

WHEN: 3:05 p.m. CT

WHERE: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.

FORECAST: Sunny, 54 degrees, 6 mph winds

FOLLOW: @therealmarklane, @thetexanswire, @cotydavis24, @TexansDoc

LISTEN: Sports Radio 610 [KILT-AM] and 100.3 The Bull [KLOL]

WATCH: CBS (Greg Gumbel & Adam Archuleta)

Source: 506sports.com

RED — Kansas City at Cincinnati

BLUE — NY Giants at Chicago

YELLOW — Miami at Tennessee

BROWN — Jacksonville at New England

GREEN (late) — Denver at LA Chargers

TEAL (late) — Houston at San Francisco

10. Davis Mills' yards per completion

texans-final-drive-first-half-jaguars-best-2021
texans-final-drive-first-half-jaguars-best-2021

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Mills has a 10.0 yards per completion, tied with Ben Roethlisberger for the third-lowest in the NFL. Part of why Mills’ yards per completion is so low is due to his philosophy that you can’t go broke making a profit, thus finding completions wherever they are, even as checkdowns. It is a good strategy to avoid turnovers. However, the Texans will need Mills to try to make a few big plays if they hope to pull off another upset.

9. Davis Mills' rank for sack percentage

texans-31-week-15-touchdown-wire-nfl-power-rankings
texans-31-week-15-touchdown-wire-nfl-power-rankings

(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Mills has a 7.3% sack percentage, the ninth-highest in the NFL. The 49ers have a dominant edge rusher, and the Texans’ offensive line must hold forth and not allow him to get to Mills. The rookie also needs to get the ball out quicker and not be afraid to throw the ball away.

8. Houston's rank for takeaways

texans-tavierre-thomas-lovie-smith-nickel-cb-pick-six
texans-tavierre-thomas-lovie-smith-nickel-cb-pick-six

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Texans are tied with the Arizona Cardinals for the eighth-most takeaways in the league with 24. The Texans are the only team in the top-10 in takeaways that is not in the whole playoff mix. Houston will need its defense to cultivate takeaways to down another playoff team in consecutive weeks.

7. The Texans' rank for missed tackles

texans-tim-kelly-royce-freeman-diligent-learning-offense
texans-tim-kelly-royce-freeman-diligent-learning-offense

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Texans are tied with the Baltimore Ravens for the seventh-most missed tackles this season with 106. It isn’t just a problem that went away with Zach Cunningham; it is still endemic in the Texans’ defense. San Francisco’s offense has perimeter players who can turn missed tackles into huge chunk plays.

6. Davis Mills' red zone touchdown passes

davis-mills-improve-texans-starting-qb
davis-mills-improve-texans-starting-qb

(AP Photo/Justin Rex )

The rookie has thrown six red zone touchdown passes, but the best part is that he has yet to chuck an interception. When the Texans get in the red area, at least with Mills, the expectation is they will come away with points. Adding a couple more red zone touchdowns to his total is the recipe for success.

5. Houston's rank for pressure percentage

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Texans have generated pressure on a quarterback 20.6% of the time, the fifth-fewest in the league. Houston is going against a rookie quarterback making his second start. The pass rush has to find a way to get to him on more than 20% of his drop backs.

4. Deebo Samuel's receiving yards rank

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Samuel has generated 1,247 receiving yards, the fourth-most in the NFL. Samuel is a YAC monster, and the Texans will need to get him down quickly when he does catch the ball. Houston can’t afford any missed tackles.

3. Trey Lance's sacks when holding the ball longer than 2.5 seconds

texans-not-taking-49ers-trey-lance-granted
texans-not-taking-49ers-trey-lance-granted

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Lance has taken three sacks on 26 drop backs when the play goes longer than 2.5 seconds. If the Texans’ coverage can hold and disrupt the timing of San Francisco’s routes, it should allow for the pass rush to get home on the rookie signal caller.

2. Nick Bosa's rank for quarterback hits

texans-davis-mills-aware-49ers-pass-rushers
texans-davis-mills-aware-49ers-pass-rushers

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

It is one thing to be tied for the third-most sacks in the NFL with 15.0, which Bosa is. It is another to be second in the NFL with 30 quarterback hits. It means the former 2019 first-round pick spends his time around the quarterback. Houston needs to keep Bosa away from their rookie quarterback if they hope to move the football in Santa Clara.

1. San Francisco's rank for tackles for loss

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

It could be tough sledding for the Texans’ run game as the 49ers defense has generated 84 tackles for loss, the most in the NFL. Houston must be open to getting the ball out to its perimeter players by other means if the conventional run game isn’t working. The sooner Houston can get the intermediate passing game going, the better.

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