Texans name rookie Davis Mills starting QB for remainder of season

The Texans are turning the page under center in the final five weeks of the 2021 season.

Rookie quarterback Davis Mills will take over starting duties for the remainder of the season, coach David Culley told reporters Friday.

"He gives us the best chance to win," Culley said, via ESPN's Sarah Barshop.

The news didn't go over well with veteran starter Tyrod Taylor, who's had a rough week.

"I wouldn't have liked it either, but this is a production business," Culley said, via The Athletic's Aaron Reiss. "We needed a spark. We needed a change."

To Culley's credit, Taylor didn't do much to help the Texans win last weekend in a shutout defeat against the Colts -- a game in which Taylor was benched for Mills -- and struggled similarly in a three-interception loss to Miami. But sandwiched between those losses were a couple of decent performances that could be viewed as worthy of continuing as the starter -- if winning truly is the primary objective.

Let's face it: The Texans are 2-10. They've lost every game in which Mills has either started or appeared (even though a couple of those outings were somewhat exciting), and they hadn't looked any better than they have with Taylor. This isn't about winning, because the Texans aren't currently built to be winners.

It's about getting an evaluation of Mills and his potential for development as a Texan. Inserting him now is a wise move for research purposes, not necessarily for the chances of adding to your win column. Let's not pretend otherwise.

Mills has already seen significant action as a rookie, starting in every game from Weeks 3-8 and also playing in Weeks 2 and 13. He's completed 65.5 percent of his passes for 1,406 yards, a 7-8 TD-INT ratio, and a 78.4 passer rating. The biggest hurdle in studying Mills has been attempting to separate the good from the bad -- and from the bad that is caused by the lack of talent around him in Houston.

Culley will get more than a month to do so before this Sisyphean campaign ends for Houston.

As for Taylor, it's another end to a disappointing stop on what has become a journey filled with them since he departed Buffalo. Taylor has now been replaced by a rookie quarterback as the starter in his last three stops: Cleveland (Baker Mayfield), Los Angeles (Justin Herbert) and now Houston. He's a solid bridge quarterback and backup who should still be able to find work after his one-year stint in Houston, where it was unlikely things would ever go right anyway.

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