It can’t be lost on the Houston Texans that a slow start against the Buffalo Bills is not going to win championships. Perhaps it was the bye week, or the extra hour of sleep, but the Texans’ offense didn’t seem to wake up until the second half of the game against the Bills. Not only won’t this ineffective approach win championships, but it also won’t be sufficient to beat Chicago in Primetime Sunday Night Football in week 9.
Too often the Texans have put a sleepy team on the field that appears to play down to its opponents. If it weren’t for a missed field goal attempt in the second quarter, the Bills would have led at halftime 9 – 7. Luckily for the Texans, the defense once again carried the game, and the offense was left to piece together a victory.
Being on top of the AFC comes with its perks, but it also comes with expectations. The Texans should not only have beaten the Bills, they should have obliterated them. But as the case has been all season, the Texans set themselves up with traps that they ultimately fell into. Take penalties for example. Houston had six penalties in the first half – one of which caused a defeating first-and-twenty which could not be converted. The Texans also for the first time this season did not dominate on time of possession. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that allowing the other guys to have the ball longer gives them more opportunities to score. No bueno.
RB Arian Foster racked up 111 yards, but it was a struggle for him to get that yardage. With Ben Tate out of the game, Foster was sure to be overworked against the Bills. He also battled a nasty stomach flu which left him nauseous and weak before the game. Somehow, he powered through. WR Andre Johnson also had 118 yards on 9 catches, but his effort was overshadowed by the confusing series of mistakes from the offense.
In the end, the Texans won because they didn’t turn over the ball and didn’t give the Bills enough chances to come back. But this is the Bills – next week, it’s the Bears. One thing is for sure, if the Texans play like they did against Buffalo, the odds will not be in Houston’s favor. Statistically, if the Texans have the kind of game they did against Buffalo, Sunday night will be a loss. Primetime + Soldier Field + Inconsistent play does not equal a W. The Texans’ offense has a lot of room to make up this week if there is any hope of defeating a more consistent Bears team.