11 observations from the Texans' 41-29 win over the Chargers

The Texans recorded their second straight win on Sunday. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans surprised the football world with a victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. Here are 11 observations from Houston’s fourth win of the season.

1. The Texans had a number of players out due to Covid. This checks in as one of the more surprising results of the NFL season and one of the better wins when putting the game into context.

2. The victory all but cements David Culley’s return to the team after speculation on his job status popped up this week.

3. Davis Mills played yet another good game. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the team forgo a chance at a first-round quarterback in the draft to give Mills the opportunity to start for the team next year. He looks totally comfortable as a starting quarterback in the NFL.

4. Mills has now played three games as the starter since he replaced Tyrod Taylor. In this stretch Mills has passed for 794 yards, completed 67 percent of his passes, and thrown just one interception against five touchdowns.

5. The best throw of the day from Mills was likely the score before halftime. The rookie quarterback dropped a ball right into Chris Conley’s hands for a 41-yard score. It was one of the best throws of the season by Mills.

6. Penalties played a big part in the game today. The above-mentioned drive was kept alive by a Chargers penalty. The Texans had some yellow flags on the field of their own. It was a sloppy game from the Texans, but they still had enough to get the win.

7. Rex Burkhead had a career day behind a makeshift offensive line. He scampered for a 25-yard touchdown after a penalty had taken a score off the board. Burkhead constantly fought for extra yards on the ground. He finally surpassed Mark Ingram as the team’s leading rusher.

8. The wideouts, and Brevin Jordan at tight end, had a very good day. Nico Collins scored his first touchdown. Chris Moore and Philip Dorsett had some nice catches as well. Some important reps for the offense with Brandin Cooks out.

9. The defense had a very good day against Justin Herbert and the Chargers. Tavierre Thomas had a pick-six late in the game. Jonathan Owens had a fumble recovery and an interception. The makeshift defensive line played well as did the fill-in linebackers. Lovie Smith’s defense again performed much better than their overall talent level.

10. Andre Johnson was in attendance and took the game in from the owner’s box with Cal McNair and Janice McNair. The former Texans wideout was critical of the organization in January of this year and advocated for Deshaun Watson to stand behind his trade request. Johnson was also critical of Jack Easterby’s role in the organization. It would seem nobody has hard feelings from the January tweet.

11. The Texans have matched their win total from last year with a less-talented roster. It is impressive the organization earned the fourth win in the manner it did as well. There’s still a long way to go towards relevancy in the NFL landscape but there are bright spots with this team. The win plus the other results in the NFL this week left the Texans unchanged in the draft order as they still have the third overall pick.

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