MILE LOW: 5 observations from the Texans 16-9 loss to Broncos

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jack Dempsey/AP/Shutterstock (13400614ar) Houston Texans running back Dameon Pierce (31) is tackled by Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson during the second half of an NFL football game, in Denver Texans Broncos Football, Denver, United States – 18 Sep 2022

MILE LOW: 5 observations from the Texans 16-9 loss to Broncos

Some good, some not so good, from the Texans in Week 2.

  1. Dameon Pierce showed he needs to be the workhorse in the backfield. Considering how long this game was a one-score game, you can make the argument the Texans still didn’t give the ball to Pierce enough. He only had 14 carries through the first three quarters. Maybe more telling, Rex Burkhead had zero carries in that same time. Pierce ran with his usual bad intentions and continually pushed forward after contact. Pierce finished with 15 carries for 69 yards

2. Kenyon Green made an immediate impact. The Texans’ run game got an instant boost, with Green making his first career start. The Texans consistently ran behind him and to his side and had far more success this week than they did last week vs. the Colts. It is obvious he is the best option at LG and should start every week going forward.

3. The run defense got abused. Javonte Williams averaged nearly 7 yards per carry. Only the Broncos head coach can explain why he didn’t get the ball more. Williams had several chunk runs, Melvin Gordon was solid in limited work, and Montrell Washington had a 19-yard run. Williams finished with 15 carries for 75 yards.

4. Derek Stingley Jr got torched by Courtland Sutton. This wasn’t a single play, but all game long. As LeBron once said, “Not one, not two, not three…” Sutton had his way with Stingley most of the day, and Stingley was called for DPI twice early in the game. Sutton had 7 catches for 122 yards, nearly exclusively against Stingley.

5. Davis Mills needs to step it up. So far, Mills has not shown the consistency he showed in the final five games of last season. He’s missed throws he should have made with ease. He had a couple of passes dropped that should have been caught, but one was dropped because it was late and behind, and another because it was needlessly low. Every week is essentially an audition for Mills, fair or not. Either he is auditioning to be the Texans’ franchise QB, or he is auditioning to be another team’s backup. So far, he’s not doing nearly enough to stay in Houston as the starter next season. Mills also failed badly late in the game in the two-minute drill; sailing passes over receivers’ heads and missing passes low. Mills was only 19/38 for 177 yards. He needs to be better.

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