In Week 11, Davis Mills and the Houston Texans suffered a 23-10 loss to the Washington Commanders. With their loss, the Texans fell to 1-8-1 on the season. This also marks the Texans fifth straight loss.
With their latest loss, the Texans remain the NFL’s only one-win team. At the moment, there are eight teams with three wins on the season, and none with two. If the season ended today, the Texans would have the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft.
In the coming weeks, the Texans will have a difficult schedule to maneuver. They will be taking on the Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, and Kansas City Chiefs over their next four games. If they hope to be competitive, there will be several things that they will need to address.
In Week 11, many of the typical staples in the Texans offense failed to perform how they usually do. In turn, this team added another loss to their record. For a team in the middle of a rebuild, this is to be expected at times.
3 Texans most to blame after Week 11 loss vs. Commanders
3. QB, Davis Mills
Second-year quarterback Davis Mills struggled through the air in Week 11. He finished the day throwing for 169 passing yards and two interceptions. He was also sacked five times. On the ground, he rushed five times, recording 10 rushing yards and one touchdown on the ground.
Mills struggled to push the ball down the field in Week 11. Of his 19 completions, 18 of them came 10 yards or less from the line of scrimmage. This includes six that came behind the line of scrimmage. He also had just one completion of more than 20 yards.
Mills has had moments of solid play this season. Prior to Week 11, he had recorded at least one passing touchdown in each of the past four games. Over that time, he threw for 927 passing yards and six touchdowns. While he managed to find the endzone, he also struggled to hold onto the ball, throwing five interceptions.
With the Texans slow start, many have begun to question what the Texans will do about the quarterback position. Mills has thrown for 2,144 passing yards, 11 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions this season. If he continues to play at his current rate, the team could soon look for other options. Especially given the chance that they have the first overall pick.
2. Dameon Pierce
Through his rookie season, running back Dameon Pierce has been the leading force of this Texans offense. At times, he has single-handedly kept the offense afloat.
This wasn't the case this past week as Pierce delivered the worst outing of his young career. In turn, the team struggled to find success on the offensive side of the ball.
Pierce finished the day rushing for just eight yards on 10 total carries. He averaged just 0.8 yards per carry.
Through the air, Pierce was targeted three times. He recorded two receptions for nine receiving yards.
Pierce finished the day with just 17 yards from scrimmage. This was the lowest yards that he has produced in a game all season. It was also his worst outing since Week 1 where he totaled 39 yards from scrimmage. Pierce was held below 80 yards for just the fourth time in his career as well.
In his rookie season, Pierce has had moments of stardom. He has rushed for 780 yards and three touchdowns. But that wasn’t the case in Week 11. And while the performance is an outlier, it can’t become a regular occurrence for the former Florida Gator.
1. The Texans offensive line
The Texans offensive line has had its fair share of struggles this season. And their poor play against the Commanders largely impacted both Davis Mills and Dameon Pierce, resulting in their poor outings.
As noted, the Texans offensive line allowed five sacks in Week 11. Mills was constantly under pressure, and many plays were stopped in their tracks. He was not given time to allow for the plays to develop. And on the occasion that he was, he struggled himself.
Pierce having his worst outing of the season is also no surprise with how the unit played. His longest run of the day was just three yards, and he was also brought down before plays were able to begin.
Since the start of the season, the Texans have allowed 28 total sacks. This was just another poor showing for a team who will need to address the entire group in the near future. But if they hope to be more productive on offense this season, they will need to play better.