The Houston Texans close out their 2021 regular season against the Tennessee Titans Sunday at 12:00 p.m. Central Time at NRG Stadium.
For rookie Davis Mills, he will make his 11th start of the season. A win would make him the first Texans rookie quarterback since Deshaun Watson to earn a victory over the Titans.
The challenge is harrowing as the Titans won’t be resting their starters — pending the results of Saturday’s matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos. If the Chiefs win, they will have temporary possession of the No. 1 seed in the AFC. If the Titans beat the Texans, Tennessee’s tiebreaker over Kansas City kicks in and gives the Titans home-field advantage.
The third-rounder from Stanford may be getting everything the Titans have to offer, and Culley detailed what he wants to see from Mills.
“The first thing is he’s got to take care of the ball,” Culley said. “Again, this morning just looking back at the Titans and looking back at the games they’ve had. The close ballgames that they’ve had are the games that they’ve had where it’s gotten away from the teams they’ve been playing. It’s because the teams didn’t take care of the ball, and that started with the quarterback position. It was no different last week when they played the Dolphins. That game was a lot closer until they started turning the ball over.”
Miami trailed the Titans 17-3 at halftime, but quarterback Tua Tagovailoa ended up throwing an interception and losing one of his three fumbles in the 34-3 loss.
“Basically, the thing he’s got to do is he’s got to be able to do that,” Culley said of Mills. “If he continues to do that and keep progressing the way he’s progressing, just the experience that he’s getting by playing, he’s just got to play well and do the things that we need to do to give us a chance to win the ballgame. First and foremost, it’s just protect the football.”
The Titans are tied for the 12th-most takeaways in the…