Bijani: Texans make it official, Allen to start against Dolphins

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Texans head coach Lovie Smith officially announced a change at the quarterback position, naming Kyle Allen as the starter for the week 12 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.

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“Both guys have been told that Kyle Allen will start this week,” Smith said. “Reasons why, I mean it’s like that with all positions. There comes a time when you need to – you’re always looking for the best option that gives you the best chance to win. That’s where we are right now.”

Allen, 26, in his first year with the team, hasn’t played in an NFL game since Dec. 26 last season when he was with the Washington Commanders.

The fifth-year pro broke his leg in November of 2020 when he was with Washington.

While he’s played since, just two games last season, Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami will be his first start since the season-ending injury.

“Personally for me, it’s kind of a cool overcoming adversity moment, getting back on the field, it was really tough being injured,” Allen said.

The move comes after another odd week at NRG. After Lovie Smith left the door open for a change at the position with his comments Monday, Smith and the Texans played possum and neglected to discuss any changes until Friday.

Monday afternoon, Smith explained what led to the teams' decision to turn to Allen.

“I feel like when a guy is the starter, he should have an opportunity to show who he really is,” Smith said. “A body of work. I feel like we have a body of work right now that leads us to go into this Miami game this way.”

That body of work that Mills has put together over the course of 10 games this season has not been impressive, to say the least.

Mills, the former third-round selection in 2021, has thrown for 2,144 yards with 11 touchdowns including a career-high 11 interceptions.

Seven of those interceptions have come during the Texans' five-game losing streak.

During the skid, Mills has failed to complete 60% of his passes in four straight games.

As for Allen, he’s hoping to inject some life into an offense that has left much to be desired for much of the season but has effectively flatlined recently.

“I don’t think there is anything special that needs to be done or crazy. We need to execute,” Allen said. “We just need to make plays. I think situational football is going to be huge. I think we’ve struggled in situational football a bunch, so hopefully, we can be good in third downs, red zone and two-minute. Those areas are really important in the game, and I think we can improve in those areas.”

The Texans rank last in the NFL in total yards and yards per game. As an offense, they’ve thrown for just 1,922 yards, the fifth-fewest in the league, and average less than 16 points per game, the third-worst mark in the league.

Meanwhile, as Smith and the Texans are in the midst of another dreadful season, despite it being by design, they’ll look to Allen for a spark with the understanding that there are many more issues that need to be addressed aside from the quarterback play.

“There are a lot of other things that we have to do better,” Smith said. “Protection has to be better, no matter who our quarterback is. Hopefully, that will be the case and it will give us a better chance to win football games. That’s where we are.”

Featured Image Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports