11 observations from the Texans' 28-25 loss to the Titans

The Texans will have the No. 3 pick in the NFL Draft. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans capped off the season coming up short against the Tennessee Titans. The comeback attempt came up short as the Texans lost 28-25. Here are 11 observations.

1. The rumors started before the game about David Culley’s job status. Culley was placed in the “OUT” category by Fox’s NFL insider Jay Glazer in the pregame show.

2. Glazer mentioned the Texans could be interested in Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as a potential head coach option.

3. David Culley was deflective and short when asked about his future as the team’s head coach. Culley said he expects to be coaching the Texans next season and when asked what case he would make to the team, Culley said he would let the team make the call on why he should be back.

4. Davis Mills played one of his worst opening halves of football. Mills was rattled and unsettled in the pocket and missed some throws he had grown into regularly making.

5. Davis Mills was much better in the second half. Mills was poised and made throws look easy. He handled the pressure better than in the first half and was in rhythm with his receivers sans an inured Brandin Cooks. It was one of the best halves of football he played all season.

6. Davis Mills said he improved on his knowledge and comfort in the offense as the season went on. It was apparent Mills was a much better quarterback after the return to the starting role. Mills believed he has done enough to be the team’s starter heading into next season.

7. Danny Amendola had his best game as a member of the Texans. It was the fifth-best yardage performance of his career and just the second time in his career he had multiple scores. He found spaces in the Titans' defense and delivered when the ball came his way.

8. Jacob Martin had Ryan Tannehill dead to rights only to see the Tennessee quarterback escape his grasp and keep the Titans’ drive alive. The Titans would score a touchdown on the drive to push their lead to 10. It was a play that would have given the Texans the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead.

9. Lovie Smith’s defense performed admirably, coming up just short again. With more talent on the roster next season, there could be something there with this unit. Overall, the defense exceeded the low expectations.

10. The Texans have a multitude of impending free agents as well as a likely Deshaun Watson trade this offseason. The team is currently slated to have nine draft picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. Their first-round selection is third overall behind the Jaguars and the Lions.

11. It is just the third time in the team’s history to have back-to-back losing seasons, the first since the 2005-2006 seasons. It is the third most losses in team history, only two 14-loss seasons are worst. The team will first have to make a decision on David Culley and then decisions on the coaching staff will come ahead of free agency in March.

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11 Texans training camp observations from August 7th

Houston Texans insider dishes on why Derek Stingley Jr was the right pick

The Houston Texans had a “vanilla” day of light work. Here are 11observations from the workout.

1. It was a light day for the Texans. Some would say sluggish, I wouldn’t agree with that. Did it look like a day off was in order? Yes. Did anyone make mental mistakes because of their energy level? Not that I could see. With it being a lighter day, it might be worthwhile to focus on some of the depth on the roster.

2. Isaac Yiadom (pronounced YEAH-dum) has had some moments in training camp. With rookie Derek Stingley having a light day, Yiadom played opposite Steven Nelson. Yiadom has had a few pass breakups and seems to be physical in coverage. He has a little speed to him, or he’s shown the ability to stick with wideouts. He is a top preseason game target to watch.

3. Phillip Dorset had a very nice back-of-the-end zone catch. It might have, likely even, been a sack for the defense in a live rep or team rep, but Davis Mills ripped the ball out as the whistle was starting to sound. Dorset with two feet in the back after juking a defender. He is squarely behind other wideouts having missed time but being a veteran should catch up quickly.

4. Wideout Connor Wedington had a few nice plays on Sunday. He has an uphill battle to make the roster, but Davis Mills’ former teammate might squeeze his way into the conversation. There are opportunities for him with a few other wideouts banged up.

5. Rookie tight end Tegan Quitoriano bodied his way for a touchdown. The rookie hasn’t done much in camp, but his size is clearly an advantage. Game reps and more padded practice will be important for him this preseason.

6. Chris Moore is a veteran taking yet another swing at making this team. If the Texans played tomorrow, I would have him on the roster. Probably even starting at slot wideout. He had a very nice leaping grab today.

7. Versatility for a couple of backup offensive linemen may lead to them making the team. Well, it certainly won’t hurt their case. Justin McCray has played all three interior offensive line spots. The veteran could start if needed, but I have to imagine he is a key backup inside. Scott Quessenberry (yes related to former Texans lineman David and current fullback Paul) played guard on Sunday. He is a factor to be Justin Britt’s backup at center.

8. Charlie Heck was not a pick I was in love with when Bill O’Brien selected him a couple of seasons ago. Heck has grown a lot in his game and physically and is surely the backup tackle for this team. He can play left and right tackle.

9. Tae Davis plays linebacker and wears 19. It is the strangest thing to see a linebacker in that number. It has not been strange to see Davis make a play here or there in practice. The linebacker room is loaded but Davis is making the most of his chances.

10. Ka’imi Fairbairn HAMMERED a ball right down the uprights after Davis Mills had led the team into field goal range on a last-minute drill. Mills easily moved the team down the field without the normal group of linemen or weapons. Good finish to practice.

11. Jonathan Greenard did some pushups after he couldn’t replicate history. Greenard almost had his second interception of Davis Mills, but the ball fell incomplete. Greenard has been a force in training camp.

Bonus Quote of the Day: “I was a fat guy last year” said Pharaoh Brown as he talked about his leaner and quicker frame compared to last year.

Listen to Cody Stoots weekdays afternoons 3-7pm on his show "The Wheelhouse" live on ESPN 97.5 + 92.5 FM or anytime on demand at the podcast here.

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