Immediate Reactions: Texans 21, Bills 9

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Today in a nutshell, courtesy of a brilliant photo from the AP’s Eric Gay.

– Thomas Chandler Channing Lewis Gailey: give the ball to C.J. Spiller more.

Nine points aren’t going to do it and I’m certainly not calling Ryan Fitzpatrick a quarterbacking answer, but I am not even remotely interesting in putting his name on the list of reasons the Bills lost to the Texans`.

For the first three quarters of this game, the Bills had drives that featured: a shanked makable field goal, a Scott Chandler drop off his hands, a Stevie Johnson drop off his numbers and a Donald Jones miss on a slightly under-thrown ball. In the fourth we saw another clean drop by Chandler and Fred Jackson not making a play on a catchable ball. Throw in the fact that the Texans defensive line resembled Gang Green versus this Bills O-line and you’ll start to get a clear picture of why Buffalo lost.

– For years fans asked for the Bills to develop the screen passes that New England used to burn Buffalo time and time again. Now the Bills seem to use them more than any team in the history of mankind, which kinda defeats the purpose of the screen pass.

Defensive line: “Hey guys, they’re letting us RIGHT in, AGAIN… Oh, right. STAY BACK.”

– How about the drive where the Bills opened with a wide receiver screen to T.J. Graham followed by another on the other side of the field to C.J. Spiller. They earned a total of five yards, which divided by two is 2.5 yards-per-play. Spiller was averaging 6.5 on the ground at that point, but hey, keep slinging it!

– Arian Foster is the best back currently getting a bunch of carries in the NFL, but his biggest run of the night came on a play that was almost a mirror of Chris Johnson’s massive run against the Bills. A massive hole opened up because Nigel Bradham — it was Nick Barnett versus the Titans — got sucked into a block and Foster did the rest. He’s a decisive runner and one of my favorite football players, though he was more of a vegan villain to me today.

– I’m not here to rail against an injured guy, but Aaron Williams needs to do a Champ Kind and sit a few plays out, watch for a while. He looks absolutely lost for a player most scouts seemed to acknowledge as a safety. When the Bills let Jairus Byrd walk — ugh — look for Williams to get a second chance at a fruitful career. He just doesn’t look comfortable or even familiar at corner.

– My good friend Jeremy White of WGR will appreciate this Occam’s Razor pull of mine from the smart Twitter of Brian Koziol.

– This game felt a lot like the 17-16 loss to the Colts (score might be wrong) where Rian Lindell missed the game-winning kick. It obviously wasn’t, but it certainly reminds me of SevenandNineville.

– It bears repeating or at least rephrasing, that was the least amount of time I can remember Fitz having in the pocket in a long, long time.

– Houston has a player named Shiloh.

– Pretty much done with the Wildcat. Isn’t the league? Do we have to wait two years until after the next next big thing to see that in Buffalo, too? Worn out whatever welcome it had.

– Seriously with the drops?

– More to come…

Stat line I liked…

Mario Williams, six tackles, two for loss including a sack

– He wasn’t a game-buster, but he was good enough to make me think the controversial and suspect torn ligament exposure means something.

Stat line I didn’t like…

T.J. Graham, three receptions, two yards

– I know he was drafted for the future and as a project, but downfield threats generally require receiving the ball down the field.

Game ball(s)…

Spiller and punter Shawn Powell

Lastly…

– The UB Bulls gave up a game-tying touchdown with under :30 to play in the fourth quarter, then returned a kick into Miami territory that included a stiff-arm. Then their kicker Patrick Clarke nailed a 50-yard field goal and everyone smiled and said, “Let’s beat Western Michigan at 3:30 at UB Stadium next Saturday.”

Next week…

– At New England. I don’t like this game one bit and I think it can challenge the morale of the team deep into the offseason. I like Buffalo to stick in it but call it two touchdowns too much. Brady & the Pats over Fitz & the Bills, 38-23.

Email: nick@fcbuffalo.org

3 Responses to Immediate Reactions: Texans 21, Bills 9

  1. ST says:

    Pretty much agree with this analysis. Bottom line…RUN. Repeat. RUN. Repeat. RUN THE BALL MORE.

    But I’m really looking forward to (your good friend) Jeremy’s film session recap this week. Lemme try to guess what will be the topic?

    Um, maybe, um, how EVERY single Bills receiver is WIDE open on EVERY play and Fitz simply can’t throw it to them? Forget the drops. Forget that Fitz got hammered all day. All that matters is that he NEVER throws a good ball. Ever. Right, Whitey?

    Of course, only a fool wouldn’t admit that Fitz was a problem again today – nothing new there. He is simply too afraid to even TRY to throw risky passes anymore; and when he does, he often misses. I think he’s a head case. And a QB with limited skills coupled with mental timidity is not a winning recipe. He is becoming almost (gasp) Trent-like. But his biggest problem is still his coach allowing him to throw the ball almost 40 times (again).

    Anyway, Bills fans will all get what we want next year, right? A new QB. A Young Stud to lead us into the future. Well, he BETTER be a stud. Because if Chan is still here (and Buddy says he will be) then that youngin’ is gonna have to sling it all over the field. Because T.C. Gailey simply will NOT use his running backs properly.

    I think there must be a budding investigative reporter out there somewhere in WNY who could get the scoop of the year by finding a certain deep dark secret obsession in Chan’s mind.

    A Pulitzer is just waiting to be won.

  2. Leelee Phoenix says:

    Bills won’t get a QB next year. 3-5, with a soft 2nd half schedule, and it’s a weak QB class anyway.

    And if Gailey is still here, they’ll be terrible regardless of talent.

    • ST says:

      I disagree about the QB. Although you’re right about what looks like another heroic run to maybe 7 or 8 wins, given the remaining schedule. And that will give OBD the (lame) case to make that – Well, see, we were better than last year. We improved!. Sigh.

      That said, I still think that Buddy pulls the trigger on a QB in the draft. And not just a late round after-thought like Levi B. again, but a top 3 rounder. It will help to appease the fan base that wants Fitz gone at all costs. Whether the kid is the saviour that everybody wants is highly questionable, given the weakness of the 2013 class. But, at least, he will be there, waiting in the wings to succeed or fail, post-Fitz. It will be enough to sell some tickets next year.

      As far as Chan, your judgement appears to have been sound on this one. You’ve disliked the hire from the start, and although I would still take him over Dick Jauron anyday, his inadequecies are rising more and more to the surface with increasing alarm.

      But, unless Ralph forces Buddy’s hand (which seems doubtful) I think the Chan/Fitz era will still be in place when we start the 2013 season. Beyond that?

      Only a post-modern Cassandra would even dare to predict, and nobody would believe her anyway.