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Bills Daily Gameday Section

Bills Lose Ugly In Houston 23-17
Bills lose second straight as Watt dominates the Bills offense.
by Steve Saslow
at
Week 4
Bills  17
Texans  23
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
J.J. Watt put the icing on top of his dominating effort with an 80 yard interception return for a touchdown to spark the Texans to a 23-17 win over the Bills. The Bills had a 10-7 lead at that time and were looking for more when EJ Manuel's third down pass was read perfectly by Watt to swing the game. Besides the interception Watt got up close and personal with Manuel all day long hitting him nine times in the game. Manuel struggled mightily most of the day but gave the Bills hope with an 80 yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams early in the fourth quarter to pull the Bills within three after the Texans had reeled off 20 unanswered points. Sammy Watkins also caught a touchdown pass but he dropped three passes as well. The Bills still had a chance late in the game as they were driving for a possible winning score when Manuel threw his second interception of the game at the Texans 25 with 1:14 to go to wrap up a terrible loss.

The Turning Point:
Watt's Interception: The Bills had just picked off Fitzpatrick for a second time and causing the third turnover of the game. Then on 3rd and 3 from the Texans 12 Manuel looked for Jackson but Watt read it perfectly and picked it off and took it 80 yards for the go ahead touchdown.

The Big Drive:
The Texans First TD: With the Bills leading 10-0 and time running out in the first half, Fitzpatrick led his offense on their best drive of the day. They went 80 yards in 8 plays in just 2:32 and the drive was capped off with a 35 yard sideline pass to DeAndre Hopkins for the score. Adrian Foster had a 17 yard pass to convert a third down on the drive.

Stat I Did Like:
Rushing Defense: They allowed to just a 1.5 yard average per rushing attempt as the Texans got 37 yards on 24 carries.

Stat I Didn't Like:
Pass Attempts: Manuel should not be throwing the ball 44 yards in a close game.

Quick Slants:
- It was 90° in Houston but the dome was closed at NRG stadium making it a comfortable 72°.
- The Bills won the toss and interestingly enough elected to receive. They usually defer and take the ball in the 2nd half especially on the road.
- Duke Williams got the start for Da'Norris Searcy and Leodis McKelvin continues to start at corner.
- The crowd was definitely a factor in the Bills having to use all three first half timeouts early and two false start penalties.

Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article:
LT Cordy Glenn vs. DE J.J. Watt: Winner: Watt. He lined up everywhere and dominated from everywhere.
WR Sammy Watkins vs. CB Johnathan Joseph: Winner: Joseph. Even though Watkins had a touchdown he dropped three passes.
DE Mario Williams vs. RT Derek Newton: Winner: Newton. Mario wasn't super in his 2nd appearance as an opponent in Houston.
LB Brandon Spikes vs. RB Arian Foster: Winner: Spikes. There wasn't much doing on other ground for Houston.

Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out:
1. Give Manuel Time: Failure! He got to know Watt really well as he was pressure almost every time he dropped back to pass.
2. Get Running Game Going: Success! They ran pretty well but didn't run enough.
3. Be Disciplined: Failure! They had eight penalties for 40 yards.

My Take:
Another year with a good start only to see it come crashing down quickly. All the good vibes with the 2-0 start have washed away thanks to back to back losses with tough matchups ahead the next two weeks. Yes there is optimism with the ownership change but that change alone can't wash away 14 years of disappointments. This was just another Sunday that felt very similar to so many losses over the years. We were allowed to think for a minute that the Bills may pull it out as they crossed midfield in the final 90 seconds of the game but as this team has done so often over the years they let us down with a terrible interception as the poor play at quarterback over the years continues.

What's Ahead:
The Bills remain on the road as they head to Detroit to take on the Lions. It is fitting that the last game the Bills will play under the ownership of the Wilson family will come in the area where Ralph Wilson resided his whole life against the team he had a minority ownership in before buying the Bills.

Gameballs
  • C.J. Spiller - He had 84 total yards including 60 on the ground.
  • Fred Jackson - He had 85 total yards including 52 through the air.
  • Mike Williams - He had 84 yards on two catches including the bomb for a score.


  • Goats
  • EJ Manuel - His inaccuracy is maddening but the interception return for a score by Watt was inexcusable.
  • Keith Rivers - For one play, he neglected to touch the receiver down and allowed him to roll for a first down late in the game on a third down catch short of the sticks.
  • Sammy Watkins - Three big drops when they need big plays from the fourth overall pick in the draft.


  • Player Of The Week
  • Fred Jackson - The former undrafted free agent is the best player on an offense with several first round picks.


  • Positional Breakdown and Grades
    NFL.com Gamebook
    Texans Game Preview
    Gameday Homepage



     
    2014 Buffalo Bills
    Record: (2-2) Division: (1-0)
    vs AFC: (1-2) vs NFC: (1-0)
    Home: (1-1) Road: (1-2)
    Place: t-1st

    Team Rankings: Through Week 4
    Total Offense: 27th
    Passing: 31st
    Rushing: 13th
    Total Defense: 10th
    Passing: 25th
    Rushing: 3rd

    Player Of The Week
    Fred Jackson - Was the best player on an inept offense. Had six receptions for 52 yards.

    The Bills are now...
    90-138 since 2000.
    49-57 in home games since 2001.
    6-20 in road games since 2011.
    11-33 in road divison games since 2000.
    3-11 in their last 14 road games.
    2-10 in their last 12 road divison games.
    20-14 in OT.
    8-18-1 when allowing a safety.
    29-74 against team's with a winning record since 2000.
    27-54 against the AFC East since 2001.
    10-27 against the AFC East since 2008.
    10-13 when they have a punt return TD.
    5-5 in their history in games where there are no turnovers.
    5-0 when each team has a 140+ yard rusher.
    42-30 when the QB throws for over 300 yards.
    12-3 when Fred Jackson runs for 100 yards.

    Did you know...
    Colton Schmidt leads the league with nine punts inside the 20 this year.
    C.J. Spiller moved into 8th place on the team's all time rushing list.
    Robert Woods has at least one catch in each of his 17 career games.
    Fred Jackson became only the third player in team history to go over 5,000 career rushing yards.
    Fred Jackson is in 2nd place on the all-time team list for receptions from a RB.
    Fred Jackson is 5th on the all-time team list with 28 rushing TDs.
    Fred Jackson is tied for 8th on the all-time team list with 35 total TDs.

     2014 Schedule
    Sept. 7@ Chicago W 23-20 OT
    Sept. 14Miami W 29-10
    Sept. 21San Diego L 22-10
    Sept. 28@ Houston L 23-17
    Oct. 5@ Detroit 1:00
    Oct. 12New England 1:00
    Oct. 19Minnesota 1:00
    Oct. 26@ NY Jets 1:00
    Nov. 2Bye
    Nov. 9Kansas City 1:00
    Nov. 13@ Miami 8:25
    Nov. 23NY Jets 1:00
    Nov. 30Cleveland 1:00
    Dec. 7@ Denver 4:05
    Dec. 14Green Bay 1:00
    Dec. 21@ Oakland 4:25
    Dec. 28@ New England 1:00

     

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