Titans Escape Against Texans, 28-25

For the 2021 Houston Texans, the word “progress” is a relative term. When your team picks third place in the draft, almost by definition, the season has included very little progress, especially considering that the Texans for the second season in a row finished with just four wins. However, this team HAD shown progress over the last few weeks, with Davis Mills once again becoming the starting quarterback.

The Texans entered Sunday’s game with the Tennessee Titans after winning two of their last three games, hoping to destroy the Titans’ shot on one seed in the AFC. In the first half of Sunday’s game, it looked like the Texans had lost all of the aforementioned advances and were 21-0 behind at halftime. However, they made a brave effort in the second half, and only came to 28-25.

Now the most important and exciting Texan offseason in recent memory kicks off, with head coach David Culley’s future just under the microscope. We’ll finally get to Culley, but let’s hit some other winners and losers from yesterday:


click to enlarge Mike Vrabel has a great shot as Coach of the Year.  - PHOTO: JACK GORMAN

Mike Vrabel has a great shot as Coach of the Year.

Photo by Jack Gorman

4. Mike Vrabel
As we have discussed on a weekly basis, the league is filled with former Texan staff on duty schedules everywhere. Well, there are also coaches with the Houston Texans as a stop on their resumes, and perhaps no former Texans employee has had a better 2021 season than Titans head coach Mike Vrabel. After losing his three most important skill players (Derrick Henry, AJ Brown, Julio Jones) for much of the season, including MVP candidate Derrick Henry in the middle of the season, Vrabel’s ability to lure 12 wins out of this team, together with massive improvements on the defensive side of the ball, should give him pole position for the NFL’s Coach of the Year award, in my opinion. It’s sad to think that the Texans had Vrabel right there in the building four years ago and that they’re sick of David Culley instead.

click to enlarge Danny Amendola had a career-high seven catches on 113 yards.  - PHOTO: JACK GORMAN

Danny Amendola had a career-high seven catches on 113 yards.

Photo by Jack Gorman

Danny Amendola

The signing of Amendola before the season was a bit of a head scraper given his age (36 years). Of course, when you think about his Patriot roots and Nick Caserio’s propensity for old Patriot players, it becomes less of a head scraper. Amendola had spent most of the last many weeks on the injury list and then the COVID list, but he was able to turn back time on Sunday. In the absence of Brandin Cooks, who had suffered a knee injury in the first half of the loss to the Titans, Amendola became Davis Mills’ go to guy with seven catches on 113 yards, two touchdowns and a two-point conversion. It will be interesting to see if Amendola, like Rex Burkhead, is brought back on a one-year deal next season for his leadership qualities.

2. Bill O’Brien propaganda train
As Bill O’Brien prepares for tonight’s College Football Playoff title fight, as offensive coordinator for Alabama, his agent works overtime and gets his name thrown into the mix for some of the concerts that are open (or about to be open) around kl. league. Here’s NFL Networks’ Ian Rapoport dragging all kinds of water to O’Brien here:

I’m sure O’Brien will try to say all the right things in an attempt to coach Trevor Lawrence in Jacksonville. I’m sure he will say he just wants to train and that it’s cool to have limited to no influence on the staff. I pray that Jags owner Shad Khan believes in him and hires him. That would add so much more to two Texans vs Jags games each season.

click to enlarge Davis Mills has played well enough to prevent the team from drafting a QB.  - PHOTO: JACK GORMAN

Davis Mills has played well enough to prevent the team from drafting a QB.

Photo by Jack Gorman

1. Davis Mills, 2022 week 1 starter

For 30 minutes on Sunday, it looked like Mills was going to go into the offseason with his biggest sip of a start since resuming his role as a starter back in week 14. But behind a abandonment of the running game and some uptempo offensive in the second half Mills was able to recover 25 points from offense in the third and fourth quarters. Perhaps the most impressive thing was that he did it without Brandin Cooks injuring a knee in the first half. Since returning to the starting lineup, Mills has a passer rating of 102.4, which over the course of an entire season would make him the sixth highest rated passer in the league. Of course, Mills’ first six starts of the season are part of his overall statistics picture, but the version of Mills we’ve seen since week 14 is certainly good enough to be the starter for this team in 2022.


4. Kansas City Chiefs fans
Had the Texans pulled up in the uprising on Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs would have risen to the number one overall seed in the AFC, a crucial achievement for a team’s Super Bowl probability, as one seed now gets the only first round bye in each. conference. (Green Bay is the number one seed in the NFC.) It was fun to see Chiefs fans forced to mess with the Texans on Sunday and see another fan base, especially one that was spoiled by having Pat Mahomes’ quarterback , forced to experience what rooting for the Texans is like. Welcome to our nightmare, Kansas City, the water is hot!

click to enlarge Hopefully David Johnson has played his last game as a Texan.  - PHOTO: JACK GORMAN

Hopefully David Johnson has played his last game as a Texan.

Photo by Jack Gorman

3. David Johnson

I’ll start this by saying that David Johnson seems like a decent and kind person – I’m saying this is a gigantic tale that he’s being thrown to the side of a tsunami of shadow – but if I never to see him carry a football for the Houston Texans ever again, it will still be too early. He is the walking embodiment of the DeAndre Hopkins deal, and every touch of football is a reminder of how awful a GM Bill O’Brien was and what a disastrous decision it was to allow Bill O’Brien to make a series. of just as catastrophic decisions as GM. Good luck, David Johnson, but walk away, David Johnson. Never come back.

2. Joe Judge
If you’re TRYING to get fired (and I have no evidence to support Joe Judge trying), this is a pretty good way to do it. Quarterback sneak on 3rd and 9th from your own four yard line. This happened in an NFL game. God bless you, Joe Judge ….

click to enlarge David Culley's loyalty to his employees is confusing to say the least.  - PHOTO: JACK GORMAN

David Culley’s loyalty to his employees is confusing to say the least.

Photo by Jack Gorman

1. David Culley

As recently as a week ago, local and national reports surfaced that the Texans were likely to retain David Culley as head coach in 2022. As recently as last week and over the weekend, it appeared that the temperature on Culley’s set had turned up again . . Now we just know that Culley has a year-end press today at. 15.45, and GM Nick Caserio has a Tuesday morning. It does not appear to be a media plan that includes the firing of a head coach, but with the Texans you never know. Honestly, I would have fired Culley after this answer about Tim Kelly’s job security last Friday:

But maybe it’s just me.

It’s going to be some very interesting the next few days around here, for sure.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 06:00 to 10.00 on weekdays. Also follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.


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