Week 11: Bills vs. Texans
The Bills head to Houston this week to battle a team that is in a similar situation as they are. The Texans are also 3-6 on the season and have an interesting statistical tidbit. They are ranked 20th in passing on both offense and defense while they are 27th in rushing on both offense and defense. Statistically the Bills at least should have a chance at moving the football and stopping the Houston offense.
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (3-6) vs. Houston (3-6)
||Don Criqui and Steve Beuerlein
||Texans by 2½
||Bills lead 2-1
||Bills Won 1
||Bills 22-7 in Buffalo (2005)
||Rush (27th); Pass (20th); overall (24th)
||Rush (27th); Pass (20th); overall (27th)
||Rush (20th); Pass (31st); overall (31st)
||Rush (20th); Pass (18th); overall (21st)
The Bills are likely to be without four players, Josh Reed, Willis McGahee, Ryan Neufeld, and Chris Villarrial. Reed and McGahee are expected to miss their second straight game with kidney and ribs injuries respectively. Neufeld suffered a planter fascilitis injury against the Colts. Villarrial re-injured his right ankle in that game as well.
The Texans have a shoulder injury to QB David Carr suffered in last week's win over Jacksonville. He is expected to play this week. They will be without DE Antwan Peek who has a knee injury and starting RT Zach Wiegert who has been placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. Starting DT Travis Johnson is also out with a calf injury while former Bill LB DaShon Polk remains out with a sprained MCL. Top pick Mario Williams remains bothered by his own planter Fascilitis injury but is playing through it.
Bills Daily Injury Page
RB Anthony Thomas vs. LB Demeco Ryans:
The Bills should be able to run against the Texans but they do have one stud in the middle of their defense. The rookie middle linebacker leads the team with 79 tackles.
LT Jason Peters vs. DE Mario Williams:
The top pick in the draft has come on as of late and leads the team with 4½ sacks. Peters struggled against Dwight Freeney last week and needs to do a better job of pass protection this week to give J.P. Losman a chance at completing more than 8 passes this week.
WR Peerless Price vs. CB Dunta Robinson:
Price will line up against the one solid corner the Texans have in Robinson unless the Texans move him around to matchup with Lee Evans. Price at least needs to be a good decoy to open things up for Evans against the other corner Demarcus Faggins.
CB Terrence McGee vs. WR Eric Moulds:
Much of the attention will be on the matchup between Nate Clements and WR Andre Johnson, who is a budding star. This matchup is a bit more intriguing. Moulds has been rather quiet in his first season in Houston with just 34 catches for 363 yards and one touchdown. He will be fired up for his best game of the season against his former team which will make it tough on McGee. If Moulds has a big day that could be a daggar in the heart of the Bills defense and the fans.
DTs Larry Tripplett and Kyle Williams vs. RB Wali Lundy:
If the Bills can't shutdown one of the worst running attacks in the league they don't have much of a chance this week. Lundy has been a pleasant surprise for the Texans replacing Domanick Davis who is on IR but he only has 343 yards rushing, good to lead the team. The Bills need to stop the sieve in the middle of the line to force the Texans into the air.
DE Chris Kelsay vs. RT Eric Winston:
The injury to the starter Wiegert has made the highly touted rookie the starter. Many thought the Bills would try to draft Winston but there were some off the field concerns that may have made the Bills shy away. Winston will be out to prove that it was a mistake to pass him up. Kelsay has had a solid season and should be able to win this battle and get pressure on QB David Carr forcing him into mistakes.
When The Bills Have The Ball: The coaching staff has zero confidence in the passing game at this point, the proof was the miserable 12 pass attempts last week in Indianapolis. It may be because of the poor pass protection or it may be because of the struggles Losman has been having. It is probably a combination of both issues. The Bills again will use a ball control offense as they will try to run the ball with the A-Train against a weak run defense. Look for the Bills to answer the cries of the media and fans and let Losman use his natural athletic ability more. That means they should roll him out more to take some of the pressure off of the offensive line and to let Losman throw on the run which is one of his strengths.
When The Texans Have The Ball: Carr is quietly having a solid season and will try to get the ball to his wide receivers as much as possible. They will feature a passing attack and sprinkle in some draw plays to get the running game going.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
This is a tough one to call, both teams are below average and in the NFL anything can happen. The Bills seem totally crushed by the close loss in Indianapolis and they will need to forget about it and bounce back quickly. If they can do that, they will have a very good chance at a win, if they can't they will take another step back in a season swirling out of control. I think they may struggle early but wake up in the 2nd half and pull out a close victory:
Bills 21, Texans 20
Season Prediction Record: (5-4)
Season Record Against The Spread: (4-5)
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