HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Texans got a solid performance from rookie quarterback Davis Mills in his first career start Thursday night.
But they were doomed by their inability to run the ball or prevent big plays in a 24-9 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
“We just weren’t very good on offense tonight ... because we weren’t able to run the ball,” Texans coach David Culley said.
Carolina’s top-ranked defense sacked Mills four times and held him to 168 yards passing. Mills was pressed into action after Tyrod Taylor suffered a hamstring injury last Sunday and was placed on injured reserve.
Mills threw for a touchdown and avoided big mistakes after he threw an interception in the second half of Sunday’s loss at Cleveland. But the Texans (1-2) finished with just 42 yards on the ground, and that forced Mills into tough down-and-distance situations as Houston punted six times.
Mark Ingram ran six times for 21 yards and David Johnson had two carries for 11 yards.<