MAKE IT OR BREAK IT

How Davis Mills can prove he deserves the keys to the Houston Texans franchise

Davis Mills will get every opportunity to prove he's the guy this year. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans have one of the unique quarterback situations in all football. This isn’t to say the situation is good, but it is unique. It will be all about Davis Mills, and he will either keep the attention of the fanbase and management or force their eyes to Saturdays.

Davis Mills is the rare middle-round pick to have a full season of starting games all to himself. Rarely, does this happen in the NFL. Since 2000, nine third-round quarterbacks have started a majority of their team’s games in their first two seasons. All those quarterbacks played at least 35 games in college. Mills played in 14 college games. In fact, he’s played in 27 football games the past four football seasons.

A successful season from Mills means he gets to start another season. The Texans would also be on their way to maximum financial advantage: a solid quarterback on a cheap contract. Failure in 2022 means the Texans are using the 2023 NFL Draft to find their next quarterback.

How does Davis Mills prove he can cut it for the Texans? All he must do is have a supersized version of his rookie year.

Two wins, 16 touchdowns, and a 35.5 QBR doesn’t delight and even a 50 percent improvement might not be enough for Mills. The improvement for Mills though was immense. If he improves as much as he did from the start of the year to the end, he will be the quarterback for the Texans in 2023.

Mills had one of the worst training camp practices I have ever seen in my life last year. He was constantly missing players when there weren’t defenders. He threw easily interceptable passes. It was horrid.

Two months later in his third career start, he turned in one of the best performances a rookie has ever had against a Bill Belichick-led defense. Two months after that, he led the Texans past the Los Angeles Chargers and second-year phenom Justin Herbert. Mills put together a final month that held off any real competition for his job.

The 2023 season is all about growth for Mills. If he can grow as much as he did from that awful summer day to the best of his performances, he will play enough to keep his job. This is where Mills is an exciting element for the upcoming season. He is an unknown possessing an opportunity to rewrite his future and the team’s as well.


He must keep being dangerous in the red zone. It is necessary he continues to be successful passing the ball deep as new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton pushes the ball more than in recent years. There can’t be any horrible games and only a few bad ones. Kyle Allen is the backup for Mills and won’t play unless there is an injury to Mills.

It will be a 17-game rollercoaster for the Texans and Mills, and only if he eliminates doubt through growth, will he get to ride the rollercoaster again in 2023.

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