Buffalo’s Week 4 loss to the Houston Texans stung. The Bills shutdown the Texans for the majority of the game, but a few big plays and gaffes cost the Bills from moving to 3-1 on the season. What were five key plays from the Bills/Texans game? Here are my selections:
Fitzpatrick to Hopkins Touchdown
The Bills led 10-0 with a little over one minute remaining in the first half. The Texans were driving and had the ball on Buffalo’s 35 yard line. On the play, Corey Graham seemingly lost track of DeAndre Hopkins. The ball was a bit under thrown and Graham almost made a play on the ball. Instead, the ball missed Graham’s outstretched hand and fell into Hopkins’ hands. This was a huge play that gave the Texans confidence and momentum heading into the second half,
J.J. Watt Interception
Buffalo regained momentum early in the second half after intercepting a tipped Ryan Fitzpatrick interception. Buffalo faced a 3rd and 3 on Houston’s 12 yard line. If the play failed, a Dan Carpenter field goal was all but guaranteed. Instead, J.J. Watt made his presence felt. Watt read the play and instead of coming at Manuel, he backed off and was able to intercept EJ’s pass. Eighty yards later, the Texans scored and the momentum of the game shifted completely. This was a major point swing for Houston. I was in attendance, and the crowd was extremely loud during and after this play. Watt’s interception was a big confidence booster for the Texans.
Mike Williams Touchdown
Manuel was facing a four man rush and rolled to his right, escaping a sack. As he rolled out, Mike Williams was able to get past D.J. Swearinger on a blown assignment. On a game where Manuel was getting hit early and often, it was nice to see him use his mobility and find a wide open receiver. Many felt that Manuel’s touchdown pass, which cut the score to 20-17, would buy him more time as the team’s starting quarterback.
Keith Rivers’ “Missed Tackle” on Arian Foster
With less than three minutes remaining, the Texans looked to take time off the clock. On 3rd and 10, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a pass to Arian Foster. The ball traveled eight yards and Foster fell on the completion. A simple touch to Foster’s back by Keith Rivers would give the Bills the ball with a decent amount of time remaining. Unfortunately, this did not happen. Foster wasn’t touched and began rolling to the first down stick. He picked up those two extra yards and the first down while Rivers looked on. It’s almost as if Rivers forgot that a player isn’t down until touched. His gaffe cost the Bills important time on the clock.
Manuel’s Last Interception
Some people wonder why Manuel would throw to a double-covered Woods, with other receivers seeing single coverage. Unfortunately, we probably won’t know the answer to that mystery. The pass was a bad decision that ended up getting intercepted. It did look as if Woods was being held by Kareem Jackson. A penalty could have, and probably should have, been called here, but it wasn’t. You can’t depend on the referees to do you any favors in the NFL.
Bills Mafia, were there any other plays that you felt were more important than my five key plays? Share them with me in the comment section!