1:00 p.m. ET
Key Coaching Decision #1: (BUF ball, leading 13-10 / fourth–and-2, BUF 41 / 4:08 Q4)
• Buffalo had to call their first timeout of the half when Sean McDermott acted as if the Bills were going to attempt a fourth down conversion in a three-point game from their own 41-yard line. The Bills were trying to get the Texans to jump offsides and Houston didn’t and had to use the timeout. The Bills could have used the timeout later in the game. This was a waste of a timeout.
Key Coaching Decision #2: (HOU ball, trailing 13-10 / second- and third–and-goal, BUF 2 / 1:53 Q4)
• The Texans started a drive with 3:55 left in the fourth quarter at their own eight-yard line. They drove the ball down the field and kicked a field goal to tie the contest.
• This was a victory of sorts for the Bills defense as the Texans had the ball on First & Goal at the Buffalo 1 with 1:59 left. The Bills stopped the Texans and force them to kick a field goal. The Bills called their final two timeouts with 1:53 and 1:44 left.
• The use of two of the timeouts here gave the Bills the opportunity to go on a length of the field drive to win the game. That hope died when Nathan Peterman threw the first of his fourth quarter interceptions, a “pick-six” that effectively ended the Bills’ chances to win the game.
• Had the Texans scored a touchdown at the goalline, it would be doubtful that the Bills, with Nathan Peterman at quarterback would be able to lead the Bills down the field to tie the game. But at least they would have time remaining in the hopes that they could.
• This was a rough game to watch and grade. This was not a defensive struggle. This was an offensive struggle. The Bills had 229 total yards and the Texans had 216 total yards.
• The Bills were penalized 12 times for 104 yards.
• Buffalo’s special teams was horrendous. This was a nightmare of a game for Special Teams Coordinator Danny Crossman. Ray-Ray McCloud fumbled the opening kickoff but the Bills recovered. Later in the first quarter, McCloud lost a fumble on a faircatch and the Texans took over at the Bills’ 29 yard line. The Texans scored their lone offensive touchdown of the game on this ensuring drive.
• In the second quarter, Houston blocked a Buffalo punt and it led to Houston kicking a field goal to give the Texans a 10-10 lead.
• Later in the game, the Bills were called for holding on special teams.
• In the second half, the Bills were flagged for being offsides on the kickoff.
• The Bills young quarterbacks had a rough day. Josh Allen is athletic, but plays with an occasionally reckless style that doesn’t bode well for his long-term football health. He was injured in the third quarter and didn’t return. Nathan Peterman threw two costly picks late in the fourth quarter to give the Texans the lead and to seal the victory for the Texans. They had 129 net yards passing. They were better rushing the ball as they managed to rush for 100 yards on 27 carries, but 20 of those came on Josh Allen scrambles.
• The defense was valiant in defeat. The Texans scored 13 offensive points, 10 of which were the result of short fields (the drives began at the Buffalo 29 and 21). Houston gained only 219 yards and turned the ball over three times.
• Lorenzo Alexander is a treasure. He is a 13-year NFL veteran that tipped a pass and caught the tip for an interception. In his career he’s played, offensive line, tight end, linebacker, fullback, defensive tackle, and defensive end.
• The Texans are now winners of three straight after three straight losses.
• We noted that Houston had a read on the Bills snap count, especially early in the game. This is an example of good film study.
• It appears that the Texans made some efforts to be more conscientious of limiting designed runs for Deshaun Watson. Watson took many hits against the Cowboys just a week earlier. That being said…
• Watson appears totally freaked out under center. He drops his eyes down field because of the rush around him and probably for good reasons as he was sacked seven times and hit an additional 12. He fumbled three times, but only lost one of them.
• The Buffalo secondary held DeAndre Hopkins to five catches for 63 yards. Deep threat Will Fuller had only two catches, the first one was with 13:00 left in the fourth quarter.
• Second-year linebacker Zach Cunningham gets better each week.