Bijani: Good teams win those games, Texans not there yet


(SportsRadio 610) - For two consecutive weeks, Texans quarterback Davis Mills has had the opportunity to quiet the critics and instill a jolt of confidence into many doubters with the ball in his hands and chances to win a game.

The Texans are 0-1-1.

Mills had one such opportunity during his rookie campaign during a week five 25-22 loss to the New England Patriots.

In his third career start, Mills had :15 seconds on the clock. He completed one of his two pass attempts, in which receiver Chris Conley fumbled at the Texans own 32 yard line to end the game.

Last week against the Colts, the Texans second-year signal caller was 0-2 passing on the Texans final drive of regulation, and while he completed three of his five attempts in overtime, it wasn't close to being enough to win.

With Russell Wilson and the Broncos entering Sunday, on a short week, after dropping their opener 17-16 to the Seattle Seahawks Monday night, the Texans defense played well enough to win but Mills and the offense lacked the ability to deliver in crucial moments for the second straight week.

Coming out of halftime, Texans linebacker Christian Kirksey intercepted Russell Wilson, wrestling a loose ball away from receiver Courtland Sutton at the Broncos 45-yard line.

In a game that has been riddled with penalties by both sides, including horrid clock management the Broncos and head coach Nathaniel Hackett, the Texans had an opportunity to gain the momentum and change the complexion of the ballgame, which was ugly on both sides to that point.

The Texans could only muster a 24-yard field goal, giving them a 9-6 lead with 8:33 left in the third quarter, after an 11-play 36-yard drive stalled on a crucial 3rd-and-6 as Brandin Cooks dropped a would be touchdown.

“It’s one of those things,” Cooks said. “Great teams are able to find a way to win those close games, and we just haven’t done that these past couple weeks.”

Cooks, finished the game with 54-yards on four catches.

Those words from Cooks, encapsulate exactly what kind of team the Texans are at this point.

Succinct and to the point. They’re a team that doesn’t know how to win yet.

Mills, in his second year and with only a few opportunities to prove himself in crunch time, doesn’t know how to win yet.

Trailing 16-9 with :53 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, and no timeouts, Mills had to lead his team down the field and try to extend a game into overtime for the second straight week or lead a game winning drive for the first in his NFL career.

He lost 1-yard before missing twice to Cooks and once to tight end Pharaoh Brown.

Mills’ lone completion was a check-down pass to tight end Brevin Jordan. A ball that should been thrown away out of bounds, instead wound up in Jordan’s hands for his second catch of the day.

It’s moments like those, that show you just how far away Mills and this team are from winning.

The first words out of Texans head coach Lovie Smith’s mouth following Sundays loss, as he told reporters, “To win football games, you have to stop losing.”

That was a reference to the eight penalties and 98-yards to the piled up.

That was a reference to his defense, which played hard and well enough to win a game, but also broke at the wrong time, surrendering a crucial 3rd-and-16 conversion to start the fourth quarter, extended a Broncos drive that ended with a touchdown and the go-ahead score.

As for Mills, he’s got to figure out a way to stay on the same page as his receivers, as there have been a number of miscommunications within the first couple of weeks.

Making winning decisions, plays and giving teammates the opportunity to make something special happen has to happen first.

“Our job is to stay close the whole game, then we’ve got to win the game in the fourth quarter, when the game is on the line,” Mills said. “It was a tough one today, you’ve just got to go out there and make opportunities.”

Featured Image Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images