5 takeaways from the Texans’ 40-0 loss to the Bills

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The Houston Texans dropped their third consecutive game in a 40-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills, Sunday afternoon, at Highmark Stadium.

Going into their Week 4 match against the Bills, it was obvious the Texans would have a daunting task in hopes of pulling off an improbable upset. But the Texans’ loss against the Bills exposed some of the most vital flaws within the team.

As the Texans fall to 1-3 on the season, here are five takeaways from Houston’s shutout loss to the Bills.

1. Another questionable call by David Culley and his coaching staff

(AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

For the third consecutive game, David Culley and his coaching staff made another questionable call that may have altered the results.

With the ball on the Bills’ six-yard line, the Texans stood 4th-and-3rd. Instead of settling for a field goal to assure three points, Culley and his coaching staff decided to go for it on fourth down. The decision led to Davis Mills throwing an incomplete pass to David Johnson, causing a turnover on down.

Culley’s choice to go for it on fourth down was based on analytics going up against a team that has averaged 39.0 points the previous two games. However, given the Texans’ offensive struggles — especially due to the injury of Tyrod Taylor — it would have been in Culley’s best interest to settle for three points instead of none.

If the Texans had scored the first points of the game, it could have put the Bills in an apprehensive state to find their offensive rhythm. The turnover on down was a missed opportunity for Houston, with the weather playing a significant factor in Buffalo’s slow start.

2. Texans need to sign a QB ASAP amid Davis Mills' struggles

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texans-bills-everything-know-40-0-shutout

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, Mills had a decent outing amid his first NFL start, but his performance against the Bills proved that he is not ready to play under center on the highest football level.

The weather played an influential factor in his struggles, and nearly every quarterback has had their issues playing against the Bills’ defense. But Mills’ atrocious performance was the result of his lack of experience as a rookie quarterback.

If the Texans had a more experienced quarterback who could adjust his play and the team’s offense given the unfortunate circumstances, Houston would have had a better chance of staying competitive throughout the game.

To understand how much the Texans’ offense struggled with Mills, Houston had a negative eight yards in passing entering the fourth quarter. The ended the game with 61 yards.

When Taylor went down against the Cleveland Browns, Culley said the Texans will “wait and see” if they need to add another quarterback to their roster. And following Mills’ performance against the Bills, the Texans should sign another quarterback ASAP.

In the loss, Mills threw for 87 yards while completing 11 out of his 21 pass attempts with four interceptions.

3. Texans' run game has been the most disappointing to start the season

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

After an impressive performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Texans’ run game was inefficient against the Browns and the Panthers. However, Houston’s backfield saved their most disheartening performance for the Bills.

With an unproven rookie quarterback and torrential rain falling, this should have been a game for the Texans to rely on their run game. But Houston received nothing.

After recording 48 yards on the ground, the Texans have now rushed for an averaged of 57.3 yards over the previous three games. A notable drop-off after rushing for 160 during their Week 1 victory against the Jaguars.

With five running backs on the roster, it is time for the Texans to reevaluate their backfield as much as their contingency plan under center.

4. The Texans' red zone defense is the only silver lining

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texans-bills-third-quarter-recap-buffalo-leads-19-0

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

If anyone is looking for a silver lining in Houston’s blowout loss to the Bills, the defense could be the only response. Although they gave up 450 total yards in the loss, Houston’s defense did a considerable job containing the Bills’ offense in the red zone.

Allen led the Bills deep in Houston’s territory on four consecutive drives, but the Texans’ defense held Buffalo to a field goal.

Houston’s red zone defense did give up three touchdowns to close out the game, but the Texans’ lack of production could have been due to endurance given their issues on offense.

5. The Texans are missing Tyrod Taylor

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texans-tyrod-taylor-miss-four-weeks-hamstring-injury

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Although Taylor only played six quarters so far this season, the Texans are missing their starting quarterback.

With Taylor, the Texans were averaging 208.0 passing yards and 25.5 points per game. With Mills, Houston has averaged 94.6 yards in passing while recording 5.3 points per game. Taylor has been out due to a Grade 2 hamstring strain he sustained during a Week 2 loss against the Browns. And according to Culley on Wednesday, there is no timetable for his return.

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