Davis Mills strong in win over Jaguars
Aaron Wilson, SI.com
On Sunday, it was Mills who outdueled the ballyhooed Lawrence in a head-to-head quarterback competition as the strong-armed former Stanford blue-chip recruit led his team to a 30-16 victory Sunday to sweep the annual series with the AFC South rival. This marked Mills’ first win as a starter after going 0-7 in his previous starts, improving the Texans to 3-11.
The Texans are now slotted for the third overall pick of the draft, and the Jaguars for the top overall pick with three games remaining in the regular season with the Detroit Lions now slotted second after pulling off an upset victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
“It’s awesome,” Mills said. “It’s a really good feeling, great feeling for the guys in the locker room. Obviously, a win is way better than a loss. So, we’re ready to build on it.”
Mills was sharp generally, completing 19 of 30 passes for 209 yards, two touchdown passes to veteran wide receiver Brandin Cooks with one interception. He completed 13 of his first 15 passes, putting the game away in the fourth quarter with a 43-yard screen pass to Cooks to seal the game.
Mills’ improvement as far as taking care of the football and adapting to not having a strong running game to complement his steady pattern of short to intermediate throws is paying dividends for the Texans offense. He completed seven of his throws to Cooks for 102 yards on 10 targets. He finished with a 92.2 passer rating and was only sacked once.
“He’s not back there holding the ball, and when he is holding the ball, he’s stepping up in the pocket and finding his checkdowns,” Texans coach David Culley said. “That’s something he wasn’t doing as well earlier when he was playing, and we made a conscious effort to make sure we get that ball out of his hands.