Mills struggles in second half as Seahawks beat Texans 33-13

Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills (10) is hit by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Darrell Taylor (52) as he tires to pass during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith) (Eric Christian Smith, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

HOUSTON – Houston quarterback Davis Mills was rolling early Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, completing pass after pass.

In all, the rookie connected on his first 14 throws to set a franchise record.

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But soon the struggles that have dogged the Texans (2-11) all year returned, and they were shut out in the second half to allow the Seahawks to pull away in a 33-13 loss.

“We started off hot, built some momentum early in the first half (but) we have to be able to sustain throughout the game,” Mills said.

Mills threw for a career-high 331 yards, but completed 19 of 35 passes after his great start to fall to 0-7 as a starter.

“He took care of the ball. That’s what he’s supposed to do,” coach David Culley said. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get the ball in the end zone in the second half, and that’s what we have to do better. Not just him, but our entire offense has to be able to do that.”

Mills made his first start since Oct. 31 after Tyrod Taylor was benched following a 31-0 shutout to the Colts last week. His first six starts this season came when Taylor was out with a hamstring injury.

Mills put the Texans up early when he found rookie Brevin Jordan on a 5-yard touchdown pass on the first drive.

The Texans trailed by three when a Seattle penalty gave them a first down at the Seahawks 1 late in the first quarter. Houston received an illegal formation call on first down before the first incompletion by Mills came on a throw intended for Nico Collins.

Rex Burkhead ran for a short gain before another incompletion by Mills forced the Texans to settle for a short field goal.

“We started off fast,” receiver Brandin Cooks said. “That’s one of those things we haven’t be able to do in a while, so that was great, but we didn’t sustain it, and we didn’t finish it. We had multiple opportunities, and we didn’t capitalize.”

Russell Wilson threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett with less than a minute left in the first half to give the Seahawks a 16-10 lead.

The Texans cut the lead to three at halftime when Kaʻimi Fairbairn set a franchise record with a 61-yard field goal as time expired.

But they were unable to get anything going after the break as they lost for the 11th time in 12 games.

Culley was quick to say that the problems weren’t all because of Mills and that the entire team needs to do more to help the team improve. He noted that they had to play most of the second half with third-string running back Royce Freeman with David Johnson on the COVID-19 list and Rex Burkhead leaving with a groin injury in the third quarter.

“It’s tough,” Culley said. “It limits you a little bit. We had to throw more than we wanted to ... we’re more efficient when we are able to balance things out between run and pass.”


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