HOUSTON - Tyrod Taylor's status as the Houston Texans' starting quarterback is secure for the remainder of the season with no plans to go back to rookie Davis Mills. Despite the abysmal offensive output in Sunday's loss to the New York Jets, Texans coach David Culley said that it would take an injury sidelining the veteran passer for him to be replaced.
"If something happens to Tyrod, you could see him," Culley said when asked if Mills will play again this season. "(Tyrod)'s the starter."
Taylor passed for two touchdowns and was intercepted once during Sunday's 21-14 loss to the previously 2-8 Jets that dropped the Texans to 2-9 overall. He is 2-3 as a starter, completing 62.8 percent of his throws for 921 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions for an 82.4 passer rating.
Taylor has played well, including running for two touchdowns in a win over the Tennessee Titans to snap an eight-game losing streak. His worst game: three interceptions in a road loss to the Miami Dolphins in his first game back from a Grade 2 hamstring strain.
Mills went 0-6 as the starter.
It's been the usual up-and-down progression of a rookie quarterback.
Mills has passed for 1,357 yards, seven touchdowns and eight interceptions for an 80.2 passer rating. The third-round draft pick from Stanford has been sacked 20 times. He has maintained his poise and displayed a steady, even-keel, unflappable personality. Mills has flashed some arm talent and mobility and toughness.
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"I believe he could be a quarterback in this league for a long time," Culley said Monday when asked if the team has seen enough from Mills to believe he could potentially be the Texans' starting quarterback next season.
Mills has made some correctable mistakes in terms of throwing into coverage for interceptions. Mills showed he can shrug off a mistake.
"Davis has said this, there’s been some good plays, and there’s been some plays that he would probably want to have back," Texans general manager Nick Caserio said previously. "At times, he’s played OK. He’s made some good decisions, he’s made some good throws. Other times, he’s probably made some sort of ill-advised plays or throws."
Mills’ performance against the New England Patriots was extremely encouraging as he displayed accuracy, mobility and an ability to throw on the run, completing 21 of 29 passes for a career-high three touchdown passes and zero interceptions for a 141.7 passer rating. He completed 12 of 13 passes on third and fourth down in that game for 209 yards and two touchdowns.
It was a big-time game for Mills, especially in light of his four interceptions overall, 23.4 passer rating, and first-half passer rating of 0.0 with one completion and two interceptions during a loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Mills rallied the Texans a bit while orchestrating a hurry-up offense in the fourth quarter with the game already out of reach and the Rams having already pulled starting quarterback Matthew Stafford after three quarters while holding a commanding 38-0 lead. It wasn’t nearly enough, though, despite Mills completing 29 of 38 passes for 310 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for a 106.3 passer rating.
"Anyway, you go through the league, I would say specific to the rookie class, he’s probably been, other than Mac as competitive as the rest of them," Caserio said. "Again, he’s got a lot of work to do, he’s got a lot of progress in front of him. He’s made some progress in some areas. There are certainly some areas he can improve, and he’s certainly committed to doing that."