Know Your Opponent with BuffaloWins’ Joe P.
With a resounding victory in week 7 over perennial AFC favorite Baltimore Ravens, the Houston Texans entered the bye week an AFC best 6-1. Returning in week 9 to face the Buffalo Bills, the Texans face former #1 draft pick (now Buffalo Bill in case you didn’t know,) Mario Williams, along with an outstanding running back tandem in CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson, a resurgent DE Jairus Byrd and a stout offensive line. How do the Texans match up against this Buffalo Bills squad? Let’s delve into the insight of BuffaloWins.com’s Joe P. He provides plenty of reasons why the Houston Texans need not overlook this year’s Buffalo Bills.
Please continue to send in your questions regarding the Texans weekly opponent via Twitter using the hashtag #KYO, to @TheClaireBear23. We’ll pick the best and give your handle some love here at The State of the Texans’ weekly Know Your Opponent column. We’ve asked for and received several submissions from new contributors – keep it coming! We love the differing concerns voiced by our Twitter people.
@lydichay With two stellar backs, will Buffalo rely on the run against Houston?
They should. The Bills are averaging over 5-yards a carry this season. Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller are arguably the team’s best offensive players. However, there are times that Gailey gets too pass happy. The Bills rank 14th in carries in the NFL, but when you have guys producing 5-yards a punch, they should be getting more touches. Take the Titans game. CJ/Fred had 140 yards rushing but combined for only 20 carries. That’s not enough. Instead, Gailey has to live by the pass and constantly put the game in his QBs hands.
@TXBobbumman How worried are you about the depleted Bills offensive line against the refreshed Texans pass rush?
Not worried at all. The Bills offensive line is getting healthy and Cordy Glenn and Kraig Urbik are close to coming back. Even without them, the Bills’ offensive line have been opening up a lot of holes and has given Fitzpatrick time to throw. Fitz has only been sacked 8 times this year, which ranks 30th in the NFL. The passing system is all about quick releases and the ball traveling through the air about 6-8 yards. No time for defenses to get to the QB.
@PHABMK6 Is first round pick Stephon Gilmore living up to early expectations?
He’s had his up and downs, but for the most part, he’s lived up to his expectations. He currently leads all NFL rookies with pass breakups with 10 and is our most consistent corner. Will he get burned? Yes. But that’s to be expected since he’s a rookie. His best attribute is how physical and tough he can get with WRs. Aaron Williams on the other hand, he’s been a tire fire this year. He’s the guy you need to go after.
@JDittyTheTexan With the Bills allowing the most rushing yards in the NFL, how will they play the Texans rushing attack?
Um, pray to God? The Bills rush defense has been awful this year. Hell, they have been awful for the last four years. We have given up chunks of yards to Kendell Hunter, the two kids from New England and rejuvenated Chris Johnson’s career. I think it is a perfect storm as to why they are giving up this many yards. The defensive tackles aren’t filling the gaps, the defensive ends aren’t setting the edge, the linebackers are awful and never make plays behind the line of scrimmage, and Dave Wannstedt is a terrible coordinator.
What can we expect with Mario Williams’ return to Houston, especially coming off of a minor wrist operation?
I’m not so sure. He’s been kind of average this year. He played well against Arizona and Cleveland, but has been invisible in the other games. The wrist injury has been a mystery because the team didn’t put it on the injury report until the week of the Titans game, yet, Chan Gailey brought it up out of the blue before the season opener. Of course, people asked Mario about it and he said it was minor at first, but then he started complaining more about it as the season drew on. Some think he’s just being an excuse maker while others say that has probably been the reason he’s struggled. Overall, everyone on the defensive line has been a disappointment (Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams), so Mario shouldn’t be the only one going unscathed.
Ryan Fitzpatrick tends to play well after a bye and played well in week 7; what do you expect to see from him this weekend?
He does? I actually didn’t hear about that. All I know is this, Fitz is very inconsistent. He puts up great numbers against crappy defenses, but when he goes against a top 10, forget it. Fitz only has two wins as the Bills’ starter since the beginning of 2010 against top 10 defenses. He can’t throw the deep ball and he constantly misses WRs who are open. He’s like the Rick Vaughan (Charlie Sheen Character in Major League) who is completely wild with his throws. Just play all your guys underneath and don’t worry about the deep ball. That’s how you defend Fitz.
What effect do you think veteran DE Chris Kelsay calling out his teammates effort in week 7 has on the Bills?
It has been the talk of the bye week here. I’m not so sure what it will do. I’ve never been a fan of Kelsay and think he’s overpaid and doesn’t do much for his salary (6-million a year). Everyone has played like crap and the scrutiny the team has been under over the last month has been at a fever pitch. So, in other words, everyone has been calling the team out. Will it help that Kelsay called out their effort? I don’t buy it. They have been so awful, you’d need William Wallace or General Patton to give a stirring speech.
Who are some Bills players we may not know of yet for whom we should keep an eye out this Sunday?
Jairus Byrd. He may be the most underrated safety in the NFL. He’s aggressive in run sport, knows how to cover and can get physical with just about anyone. He’s a good player. Offensively, keep an eye on TE Scott Chandler in the red zone. He only has 19 catches on the season, but four of them have been for TDs.
We could not be more thankful to Joe, who lives in the Hurricane Sandy-ravaged northeast, for finding time during that mess to help us Texans fans better comprehend what our team faces in the 2012 Buffalo Bills. His responses have been some of the best of the series. Please, follow Joe on Twitter and check out the BuffaloWins.com blog. Both are great investments of your time.