Making your first start on a Thursday as a third-round rookie quarterback is not an ideal situation.

Davis Mills made a few plays in Houston’s 24-9 loss to Carolina, but not nearly enough. The signal-caller finished Thursday’s game 19-of-28 passing for 168 yards with a touchdown. That he didn’t turn the ball over is a clear positive. But the Texans were just 1-of-9 on third down.

After the game, Mills quoted the adage, “It’s never as bad as you think and it’s never as good as you think it was” to describe his thoughts on his performance.

“There’s obviously a couple plays I would like back,” Mills said in his press conference. “But I’m going to come in tomorrow and watch the film and see what we can improve on, but also see what we did well to move forward.”

The one situation where Mills excelled was the two-minute drill at the end of the first half. Factoring out the spike to stop the clock, Mills completed all five of his attempts for 60 yards en route to Houston’s only touchdown of the night.

“I think we felt like we … got in a really good rhythm once we were out there pushing the tempo and kind of spreading the ball around because, honestly, at the end of the drive, I felt like the defense was a little tired and we were able to attack them and find plays,” Mills said.

Mills noted that even without seeing the film, he “definitely” knows some of the things he’d like to work on. And despite the circumstances of taking over the role of QB1, he’s grateful for it.

“Unfortunately, Ty [Taylor] went down and, I mean, never wish injury upon anyone,” Mills said. “But I think moving forward this is a place I want to be. I’ve always dreamed of being a starting quarterback in the NFL, so I think moving forward just trying to improve each and every day is what I’m going to try to do.”