Sean Pendergast

NFL Week 14: Seahawks 33, Texans 13 — Four Winners, Four Losers

Davis Mills will be the starting QB for the rest of the season, and started this chapter of his rookie year with over 300 yards passing.
Davis Mills will be the starting QB for the rest of the season, and started this chapter of his rookie year with over 300 yards passing. Photo by Jack Gorman
As we pointed out on our Friday preview of Sunday's game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Houston Texans, the way the NFL assembles its schedule each season means that the Texans, prior to Sunday, have only faced Russell Wilson twice in his entire 10-year career. Both games were nail biters, an overtime loss n 2013, and 41-38 shootout in 2017.

The 2021 version of the Seattle Seahawks is, by far, the shakiest of the Pete Carroll-Russell Wilson Era, entering Sunday's game at 4-8 on the season. The problem is that the 2021 Houston Texans are one of the shakiest teams in recent NFL HISTORY, so the Seahawks could play at a C+ level, as they did for most of Sunday, and still come away with a 33-13 victory.

The big story wasn't the final score. Anyone with a brain expected the 4-8 Seahawks to continue to "get well" this season against the Texans, and they did. The bigger story for Texans fans is that Chapter 2 of the Davis Mills Saga, with the rookie starting at QB, which should run for the rest of the season, played out at NRG Stadium, and it was okay. Not great, but okay for what it was.

Let's start there on winners and losers from the Seahawks' 33-13 win over David Culley's squad:

WINNERS

4. Davis Mills
It was mildly surprising on Friday that Culley, who has majored in coach speak and accountability all season, would announce Mills as the starter for the rest of the season. It honestly makes me think that this was a decision that took place above Culley within the organization, and it makes sense. The Texans need to know to what extent they should prioritize quarterback in next year's NFL Draft. On Sunday, Mills did some good things. Namely, he looked solid enough in the first half, putting 13 points on the board (with no running game to help him out), he protected the football, and he didn't look completely overwhelmed like he did earlier in the season. The downside — the Texans were shut out in the second half for the third straight week. Brutal. But back to Mills — my "excitement meter" is at a solid 6 on a scale of 1 to 10 to see if he can at least make Nick Caserio think hard about what to do at QB this offseason.
click to enlarge Neon Green was everywhere. - PHOTO BY JACK GORMAN
Neon Green was everywhere.
Photo by Jack Gorman

3. The 12th Man
Sorry Aggies, I don't mean to rile you up. I know you own the trademark on the 12th Man gimmick, but last I checked, the Seahawks are paying you guys for the ability to call their fans the "12th Man," so sue me! (Actually, please don't sue me, this is an expensive time of year for me.) I bring up the Seattle fans because I don't know that an opposing fan base has represented at NRG Stadium quite like Seahawk fans did yesterday. Sunday basically operated as a de facto home game for the Seahawks. There was neon green EVERYWHERE.

2. Rashaad Penny
The Seahawks' offense has struggled all season long, mostly because they can't run the football. So the Texans were just what the doctor ordered! Former first round pick Rashaad Penny had rushed for just 78 yards in five games this season. Well, Penny outgunned his entire 2021 season on TWO plays on Sunday. First, there was THIS touchdown 32 yard run in the first half....
Then, there was this 47-yard jaunt....
So, 78 yards all season heading into Sunday, but 79 yards on two runs. How very Texans.

1. Tyler Lockett
If you watched Lockett tear the heart out of the Texans' chest on Sunday, you would have thought that the Seahawks actually kidnapped noted Texans killer, Colts WR T.Y. Hilton, and threw a Locket uniform on him. From a Texans perspective, Lockett had a very Hiltonian performance on Sunday, complete with catches of 24, 29, 29, and 55 yards. This touchdown gave the Seahawks the lead for good...
Lockett became just the second Seahawk wide receiver with three 1,000 yard seasons. The other Seahawk was some dude named Largent.

LOSERS

4. Kamu Grugier-Hill
This season has been a slow road to nowhere, so we've been hoping that one of the consolation prizes from a lost season would be finding a few diamonds in the rough to keep around for a couple more years. Linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill was the poster child for a veteran guy on a one-year deal, who'd earned a longer term extension. Unfortunately for him, THIS happened yesterday:
We will learn more on Monday about what Grugier-Hill is looking at for surgery and rehab, but you wonder if the Texans' chapter of his career, which was growing with so much promise, came to an abrupt end yesterday.

3. Mike Vrabel
So the Tennessee Titans were the "winners" in the Zach Cunningham waiver sweepstakes, picking up the former Texan late last week. Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, who was Cunningham's position coach in the linebacker's rookie season in Houston, wanted NO QUESTIONS about a player who wouldn't be joining the team until next week....
I understand that we media folk have a hard time following orders sometimes, but what a baby!

2. Justin Reid's manhood
Can we just watch Rashaad Penny again? Dear lord .....

1. Brian Kelly
I know this has nothing to so with the Texans' loss to the Seahawks, but I must point out what an utter phony new LSU head coach Brian Kelly has become since moving to Baton Rouge:
Dude, what are you doing???

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.
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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast