The Houston Texans can’t seem to escape the bottom of the rankings.
A recent ranking of the AFC’s quarterbacks saw Davis Mills take the first page of the countdown as the 16th-ranked AFC quarterback. Excuse me, but what? Mills isn’t a Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen-level quarterback, but he’s definitely better than those who were ranked ahead of him.
The five quarterbacks ranked ahead of him were (in order):
15. Trevor Lawrence
14. Zach Wilson
13. Mitchell Trubisky
12. Tua Tagovailoa
11. Mac Jones
Let’s start by dissecting this disrespect with quotes from the article:
"I personally think that, even with a high floor, he may be capped out on his ceiling. His QBR (35.5), adjusted net air yards per attempt (5.8), yards per attempt (6.8) intended air yards per attempt (7.2), and his intended air yards per completion (5.4) all ranked bottom 10 in the NFL."
To say that Mills is capped out on his ceiling is laughable. Mills isn’t Josh Rosen, or any quarterback bust that everyone knew was done after just one season. Mills had a better deep ball accuracy than Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, and Lamar Jackson last year.
Zach Wilson played in four more games than Mills did, yet only threw for 19 more yards per game on average. Numbers begin to lie when looking at the qualitative aspect of the game.
Mills also had the 16th-longest passing touchdown last season, which isn’t too bad for a third-round rookie who got tossed into the fire when Tyrod Taylor got hurt in Week 2. Mills was at the will of former offensive coordinator Tim Kelly, who Texans fans couldn’t wait to see him leave.
This reason below is quite funny for Houston Texans fans
"The biggest thing for me with Mills is how much further will he grow? He won’t have the advantage of being an unknown player coming into 2022."
This reason is laughable. Show me the stats that indicate how well a player will do just because no one knows who they are. It’s not like Mills is a dual-threat weapon (no offense to Mills) to that of the extent of Tyler Huntley and how he stepped in for Lamar Jackson last year.
Everyone knew who Mills was because he was the only quarterback on the roster who could play, and he was the one taking over for Taylor and Deshaun Watson.
By this logic, every franchise quarterback has to overcome the “disadvantage” of simply having their existence knowledged in the film room and on the field on Sundays. This is borderline mental gymnastics.
Finally, to rank Mitchell Trubisky ahead of Mills when Trubisky only appeared in six games is downright silly. The statistical comparison between these two based on 2021 cannot be made because of that reason alone.
Both Lawrence and Mills should be ranked ahead of Trubisky. If you want to talk about a receiving corps that stinks, look at Pittsburgh’s. Chase Claypool and Diontae “Drops” Johnson don’t do much to move the needle either.
Mills also had an incredibly similar statistical season when compared to Tua Tagovailoa! So how can Tua be ranked ahead of Mills, especially with the health issues that were listed?
Mills did the best that he could for the situation that he was in, with an offensive line that also gave up ninth-most sacks (44) in the entire league last year. Despite that, Mills placed second in completion percentage behind Jones.
Texans fans demand re-ranking because there is no way that Mills is the worst quarterback in the AFC. Regardless of the ranking, it’ll be bulletin-board material for Mills, and we’ll see how the season goes after getting Brandin Cooks back and with the chance to add a playmaker in the draft.