The Houston Texans snapped their three-game losing skid with a Week 15 victory over the struggling Jacksonville Jaguars. Head coach David Culley and his men used an all-around effort to escape with a 30-16 win over their division rival.
After the outcome, they have now improved to a 3-11 record for the third spot in the AFC South. Though their win-loss tally may be underwhelming, the Texans have been showing continuous improvement over the past weeks, which could eventually help build the confidence of their young guys and the team as a whole. They hope to sustain the momentum and aim to get a win run going when they host the visiting Los Angeles Chargers in Week 16 action.
With that said, here are three takeaways from the Texans' most recent win over the Jaguars.
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Houston Texans Week 15 Takeaways
3. Ka'imi Fairbairn is now trending in the right direction
For the 2021 season, the Texans continued to put their trust in kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn, who has been with the franchise since 2016. However, he started slowly as he missed their first four games due to a hamstring injury. When Fairbairn came back, he also missed a handful of attempts in Week 5 against the New England Patriots, which cost them a win and eventually drew clamor from the Texans faithful.
In recent weeks, the Hawaiian native has managed to get back on the right track. Against Jacksonville, Fairbairn showed his fine form as he served as a key cog for his team. He went perfect on three attempts to score a total of 12 points for Houston to help them run away with the victory.
If Fairbairn manages to sustain his good performance, he can continue to prove that he is indeed the right man for the job moving forward.
2. Garret Wallow stepped up big time for the Texans' defense
Aside from special teams, the defensive unit also did its part against the Jaguars. Despite missing a number of key pieces, the linebacker rotation leaned on the contributions of Garret Wallow, who wasn't seeing much action on the field until Week 15.
The rookie out of TCU stepped up and led the pack with 11 total tackles and a sack recorded against opposing QB Trevor Lawrence. The impact that he made on the defensive end was much-needed, as it allowed the Texans to gain momentum on the field en route to a win.
Wallow was nowhere near a top prospect in the most recent NFL Draft, but he has shown that he can provide valuable contributions and emerge as a game-changer for his team whenever his number is called.
1. Davis Mills showing improvements as the starting QB
With starting QB Tyrod Taylor still out due to a wrist injury, the Texans were forced to rely on the services of backup playmaker Davis Mills for the third consecutive game. In Week 15, the Stanford product had a respectable outing with 209 yards on 19-of-30 passes to go with two touchdowns.
Though he recorded an interception in the game, Mills managed to redeem himself by throwing the game-sealing touchdown to wide receiver Brandin Cooks in the fourth quarter. His level of production allowed him to outperform a top rookie in Trevor Lawrence on the opposite end of the field to eventually nab the first victory of his young career.
Even though Mills is currently only being slotted in to fill the void left by Taylor, he is proving that he can also compete and make a mark for his team in the big leagues. With his most recent performance, he showed growth at the position, which is a good indicator for the Texans as they try to figure out their future at the quarterback position.