It was a 'mixed bag' type of Thursday night for rookie QB Davis Mills.
In his first NFL start, he completed 68 percent of his passes for 168 yards, with a touchdown and zero picks.
However, he was also sacked four times, and the Texans lost 24-9 to Carolina at NRG Stadium. In the aftermath of the defeat, Mills looked at the big picture.
"I always think back on that quote 'It's never as bad as you think it was and it's never as good as you think it was,'" Mills said. "There's obviously a couple plays I would like back, but I'm going to come in tomorrow and watch the film and see what we can improve on, but also see what we did well to move forward."
The Texans offense had to punt on its first four possessions, and six of nine drives on the night ended with Cam Johnston's right foot sending the ball back to the Panthers.
Mills completed all five of his passes on the lone Texans touchdown drive, which began with 1:25 left in the first half. The Texans needed seven plays to go 64 yards, and it culminated with a one-yard scoring strike to WR Anthony Miller at 0:25 in the second quarter.
"When we went into our two-minute offense right before half, he did an excellent job of taking us down the field and making some nice throws and nice plays," Head Coach David Culley said. "I thought he did a nice job for us."
Mills said he caught "a really good rhythm" when the Texans were pushing the tempo.
He hit WR Brandin Cooks nine times for 112 yards on the evening. Cooks wanted a win and wasn't satisfied with any moral victories, but he was impressed with the rookie's first start.
"He handled himself well," Cooks said. "Just like us all, we just have to continue to just get on the same page and get that chemistry going between us all. But at the end of the day, very proud of how he came out."
Mills and the Texans won't play again until October 3 at Buffalo. But in between now and then, he said he "definitely" can get sharper in a few areas.
"There's a couple quick things that I can think of that I would like to improve on initially, but I mean, going back, we'll see a lot from the film and also see the good in it that we can keep moving forward with," Mills said.
The third-round pick out of Stanford in the 2021 NFL Draft, Mills finished the contest with a 95.5 rating.
See the Texans at home as they host the New England Patriots on October 10th. Kickoff is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets