After a 16-point defeat at home to the Rams, Davis Mills still has optimism about the weeks ahead for the Texans.
Houston trailed the Rams, 38-0, early in the fourth of Sunday's game. To that point, the Texans had punted on seven possessions, missed a field goal on one, and threw an interception on another, but then Mills and the offense took advantage of Los Angeles resting some starters, and strung together a trio of touchdown drives.
"It's tough," Mills said. "It wasn't a win today, but I think the guys were starting to rally around the energy we felt from the success in the fourth quarter. I think that's something we can carry into this week of practice and moving forward into it next week."
Mills finished the game, which the Rams won 38-22, with 310 passing yards. He completed 29-of-38 throws and tossed a pair of touchdowns. Mills was picked off once and also sacked five times. Despite the rough go through the first three quarters, Head Coach David Culley has seen improvement from the rookie signal-caller.
"He's progressing," Culley said. "He's progressing very well, and I like where he's at right now. I like what he did with our offense at the end of the game. He handled things, and he's just getting better and better."
Mills and the offense picked up the pace in the final period and saw results.
"I've just always been comfortable pushing the tempo out there," Mills said. "It's a little easier as a quarterback to find a rhythm when you're just making quick decisions and spreading the ball across the field to different playmakers on the edge."
On the first scoring drive, the Texans finally found the end zone when RB Rex Burkhead blasted in for a 1-yard scoring run. On that possession, Mills guided Houston 60 yards on 10 plays. Burkhead ran four times on the drive for 21 yards, caught a 10-yard pass as well, and Mills hit WR Brandin Cooks, WR Nico Collins and WR Chris Moore for gains, too.
"The thing that impresses me most about Davis is he 's so even-keeled," Burkhead said. "It doesn't matter if we're down a ton there. Not converting, not being successful. He's always the same quarterback, the same person throughout the game. For a rookie to have that mindset, even in practice, is the exact same way, it's super-impressive to me."
After the Texans defense forced a 3-and-out, Mills and company went back to work. On the fourth play of the drive, he dialed up a deep ball to Cooks, who went 45 yards for the touchdown.
An onside kick was recovered by Houston, and Mills moved the offense down the field in six plays, culminating with a touchdown to rookie TE Brevin Jordan.
Mills and the Texans face the Dolphins next Sunday in Miami.
The next time you can see the Texans at NRG Stadium will be on November 28 as they host the New York Jets in Week 12. Kickoff is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets.