Heading into his fourth start for the Houston Texans, Davis Mills is looking to build off last week's record-setting performance against the New England Patriots.
"I think we just had a really good game plan going into the game, mixing it up, a lot of different looks, a lot of shifts and motions," Mills said. "We really had the defense guessing, and I felt like we were just moving the ball very efficiently."
Mills didn't get a win, but he showed tremendous improvement from the 40-0 loss at Buffalo in Week 4, where he threw four interceptions and no touchdowns. Against New England, the Texans rookie quarterback completed 72.4 percent of his passes and had career highs in passing yards (313), passing touchdowns (3) and passer rating (141.7) in the 25-22 loss.
"He's coming in, and he's learning on the fly a little bit, so it's a testament to him and his capacity to be able to come in and process and learn from those mistakes quickly," Offensive Coordinator Tim Kelly said. "You saw last week that he came in and played a pretty clean game. Now there's some stuff we need to clean up, but he definitely took a step in the right direction."
Mills' most impressive stat, though, might be his efficiency on third and fourth down. On those plays against the Patriots, he finished the game 12-of-13 for 209 yards and two touchdowns. He became just the second rookie quarterback since the 2000 season to post a perfect 158.3 passer rating on third and fourth down with a minimum of 10 attempts. Both of Mills' first-half touchdown passes, to TE Antony Auclair and WR Chris Moore, came on third-down conversions.
"I think a little of that comes from the previous game, just learning from those mistakes and taking what you can get," WR Brandin Cooks said. "At the same time, being manageable on first and second down, making third down a lot easier, making great reads and making quick reads. You saw that all game from him."
On Sunday, Mills will get his second start on the road when the Texans face the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"A lot of talent, really good front seven," Mills said. "We're going to have to handle them and then try to just make plays on the edge. Also, mix the run and pass game up, keep them guessing, like I said. Just got to go out there and execute."
The next time you can see the Texans at NRG Stadium will be on October 31 as they host the Los Angeles Rams in Week 8. Kick off is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets.
Check out photos from the Houston Texans practice on Wednesday.