What stat is the most concerning for Houston Texans QB Davis Mills?
Houston Texans starting quarterback Davis Mills has a certain exciting ring to it as the 2022 offseason takes place. It’s exciting because he’s coming off the final month of the regular season where the improvement in his play began to hit the surface, and progress was made by the rookie.
If the final decision of general manager Nick Caserio and whoever is hired as the new head coach of the Texans is to keep Mills as the starter under center, they will have to keep a certain stat in mind for next season, especially when it comes to “hitting the surface.”
The concerning stat for Mills entering the ’22 offseason isn’t his passing numbers (2,664 yards passing), completion percentage (66.75 percent), or his 16-10 touchdown-to-interception ratio. The most concerning stat for Mills that needs to be better is lowering the number of times sacked.
Mills in his rookie season played in 13 games, two of which were in a reserve role and 11 times he was the starting quarterback for the Texans. In all of those games combined he was sacked a total of 31 times.
That’s an average of 2.38 times sacked per game, and when a quarterback who is still learning and progressing his game in his rookie season that is a lot of times to be sacked, though some games he was sacked much more than other games.
Some of the pressure on the quarterback was on Mills because not every sack is fault of the offensive line. Other sacks were on the o-line and some missed blocks elsewhere in the backfield, but the bottom line is Mills can’t continue to become a better quarterback if he’s being sacked too much in ’22. The number of times sacked has to be decreased in some way.
Houston Texans: Offense allowed a total of 44 total sacks in 2021
If the sacks to Tyrod Taylor are added into the sack totals, the overall total in sacks allowed by the offense of the Texans was 44 sacks (the ninth most sacks allowed in ’21), so that number is a bit concerning.
Six times this past season the Texans allowed four or more sacks in a game, including a span in three of four weeks where they allowed five sacks in those games against the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Rams. The game where they didn’t allow five sacks, the o-line gave up zero sacks against the Tennessee Titans, a game the Texans won 22-13, to the Texans do have the talent to cut down on the number of sacks allowed in games.
For the Texans to make this a less concerning stat for Mills in ’22 they must upgrade their offensive line in spots, as the interior line could use some work at guard which can be fixed in the ’22 NFL Draft.
It also wouldn’t hurt to add a running back who is solid at blocking, and whoever calls the offensive plays in ’22, they have to be better – and less predictable – than former offensive coordinator Tim Kelly.
Mills will have to be better in ’22, but with how he showed improvement in the second half of the season in his final five starts that should be no issue. Mills has to stay upright to do so, and it will be up to the front office and new coaches to figure out the best way to make this stat the least concerning next season.