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Texans Run Away From Bills 31-10
RB Ryan Moats runs for three fourth quarter TDs.
by Steve Saslow
at
Week 8
Texans  31
Bills  10
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
The Houston Texans overcame three first quarter turnovers, including two more interceptions by Jairus Byrd, and took control of the game in the second half to beat the Bills 31-10. The already depleted defense lost Aaron Schobel and Keith Ellison to injuries and the overmatched unit just wore out in the second half as little known RB Ryan Moats ran for three fourth quarter touchdowns and 126 yards. Terrell Owens scored on a 29 yard reverse after Byrd's second interception but the offense did nothing otherwise. The Texans scored on four straight second half possessions to quickly take control of the game that they actually trailed 10-6 at the half.

The Turning Point:
The game had already turned in Houston's favor but the fake punt opened the floodgates to the rout. The Bills couldn't do anything offensively and faked a punt on 4th and 2 from there own 40. They used in end around that took too long to develop taking the element of surprise away. Justin Jenkins lost three yards and the Texans went down for their second fourth quarter touchdown to turn the lights out.

The Big Drive:
Houston's 10 play, 72 yard drive that bridged the third and fourth quarters. It went almost six minutes long and ended with an easy 11 yard touchdown run by Moats. Houston took the lead early in fourth quarter and never looked back.

Stat of the Game:
Time of Possession: Hou 39:08 to Buf 21:52. You don't win many games when the defense is on the field so long. Injuries hurt but even the top line defenders would have been worn out by the 4th quarter as they allowed another no name running back to look like the second coming of Walter Payton.

What You Don't See On The Stat Sheet:
The Bills went three and out on their first three possessions and turned it over two plays into their fourth second half possession. The Texans scored the first four times they touched the ball to score 25 straight points to run away with the game.

Quick Slants:
- Josh Reed kept two first half drives going with big third down receptions. He had catches of 15 and 10 yards to convert third downs.
- Ralph Wilson got his Hall of Fame ring at halftime this time the ceremony happened as the owner gave a short speech and was cheered by the fans. The ceremony was absent of boos.
- There were four more injuries in the first half alone. Sooner or later they are going to run out of players to plug in to open spots.
- The Texans won the toss and took the ball. Didn't they read Dick Jauron's book on always deferring on the road?
- Bills didn't get a first down in the second half until there was 3:25 left in the game.

My Take:
Nobody thought much of the Bills after back to back wins and they proved why in this game. A win would have meant something this week since Houston is a solid football team. The injuries caught up to them this week but even healthy they aren't in the same class as the Texans. The fourth quarter collapse was inevitable when they only had a 7-0 lead after getting three first quarter turnovers. The bye week is at the best time because at least they can maybe heal up a bit and field more NFL quality players. Don't look for any miracle runs in the second half of the season. This team will likely muddle through the second half of the season like they muddled through the second half of this game.

What's Ahead:
The Bills season is now half over and they have the bye week right in the middle of it. It comes at a good time (they actually could have used it a couple of weeks ago). The team needs to rest a lot of injured players. They return from the bye with a trip to Tennessee to play the very disappointing Titans who just got their first win.

Gameballs

  • Jairus Byrd - Another two interception game for the unbelievable rookie.


  • Goats
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick - He isn't any better than Edwards. 54 of his 117 yards passing came in the final garbage time drive.
  • Marshawn Lynch - Doesn't run with authority as he only gained 43 yards rushing and dropped a screen pass while getting called for a penalty.
  • Terrell Owens - Couldn't pull in a pass that would have given the team huge momentum before halftime.
  • Lee Evans - He went right back into his shell with just two catches, one in garbage time.
  • Perry Fewell - His unit is banged up but they quit in the fourth quarter.


  • Player Of The Week
  • Jairus Byrd - The Byrd is the word as he now has seven interceptions in three games.


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




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