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Davis Mills, Brandin Cooks Reflect On Texans Missed TD Chance vs. Broncos

The Houston Texans had a chance to take control of the game early in the third quarter, but quarterback Davis Mills and wide receiver Brandin Cooks failed to take advantage of the opportunity.

HOUSTON — The Houston Texans departed Empower Field at Mile High stadium after scoring just three field goals en route to a 16-9 defeat to the Denver Broncos on Sunday. 

The Texans, though, had an opportunity to score a touchdown on several drives but failed to convert in the red zone.

“We’ve got to go down there and get a touchdown,” QB Davis Mills said, “and then it's a different game."

Houston's most significant missed opportunity took place early in the third quarter. Following an interception from linebacker Christian Kirksey, the Texans got deep within the Broncos' territory. 

After accounting for 39 yards in 11 plays, the Texans stood at second-and-6 for a chance to take control of the game. Quarterback Mills targeted veteran wide receiver Brandin Cooks twice, but his pass attempts resulted in two consecutive incompletions. 

The Texans had to settle for their third and final field goal of the game to take a 9-6 lead over the Broncos. 

After the loss, Mills credited the Broncos' defense for not giving up a touchdown. But Mills also gave an honest assessment of how the offense needs to capitalize on the opportunities at hand.

"We had a play formed on the backside, and I didn't end up seeing where the ball ended up," Mills said. "I got to give him a better ball on that one. That's one of the opportunities that we missed on, and defense gets a big takeaway. We’ve got to go down there and get a touchdown, and then it's a different game."

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Mills' inability to connect with Cooks was one of several moments that made coach Lovie Smith displeased with the Texans' passing game.

Mills failed to eclipse over 200 passing yards against the Broncos. He recorded 177 yards while completing 50.0 percent of his pass attempts. Smith said the Texans need more from Mills moving forward but held the entire offense responsible for Houston's inadequate performance.

“It’s just one of those things that at the end of the day, being able to go out there and play football — it’s not ever going to be perfect," Cooks said. "But being able to be dialed in and be on the same page — even in those instances — that's what it's all about in the passing game."

Cooks, who reached over 8,000 career receiving yards during the loss, ended the day with 54 yards on four receptions. Second-year wide receiver Nico Collins led the way for the Texans will 58 yards on four catches. But there was something missing …

A touchdown.

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