Report card: Bills romp Texans, 40-0

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·7 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Well, even the losses are bigger in Texas.

The Buffalo Bills decimated the Houston Texans 40-0, and move to 3-1 ahead of next Sunday’s premier matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Following the Bills’ win, here’s how Bills Wire graded Buffalo out in the week’s report card:

Quarterback: B+

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) runs with the ball. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not that Josh Allen played poorly but more that the Bills left points off the board. Allen completed 20 of 29 passes for 248 yards, throwing two touchdowns and one interception. He left the field early with no reason to risk injury.

Allen’s day started on an off note. The Bills brought in an extra offensive lineman yet passed on first and 10, Allen dropped back and his first pass was completed into the hands of a Texans defender.

Allen wouldn’t complete his first pass until the Bills’ third drive of the game, a drive that would eventually end with a 27-yard touchdown throw to Dawson Knox. His best play was pulling the ball on a 4th & 1 QB sneak from the 50-yard line and gaining 15 yards around the edge.

Allen’s other touchdown pass went to Knox in the third quarter. It was the offense’s only touchdown in the red zone with him in at QB. Prior the Bills were 0-for-4 settling for field goals each time.

Mitchell Trubisky completed his lone pass attempt and scrambled for 10 yards, including a touchdown run.

Running back: B+

Buffalo Bills running back Zack Moss (20) runs with the ball against the Houston Texans. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Bills accumulated 199 yards on the ground on Sunday. Devin Singletary and Zack Moss each had 14 carries. Singletary rushed for 79 yards, Moss had 61 yards and a touchdown.

Buffalo showcased more two-running back sets than usual. Compared to their base 11 personnel packages, the Bills moved Reggie Gilliam into the backfield as a lead blocker and were creative with their use of Dawson Knox from an offset position.

Lengthy runs from the Bills were few and far in between. Moss had the longest carry of the day at 17 yards off a second and 10 play from the Houston 49 in a shotgun set. The Bills put Gabriel Davis in motion to help block. Davis has primarily entered as Buffalo’s top run blocker from the wide receiver position.

Tight End: A

Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox (88) runs with the ball after a catch avoiding the tackle of Houston Texans cornerback Tavierre Thomas (37) Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The emergence of Dawson Knox continued, with possibly his best game as a professional.

Knox hauled in five passes for 37 yards and two touchdowns. He’s scored in three straight games and has four this season, surpassing his career-high three in 2020.

Knox is selfless in the run game, showing a want and ability to block to move the ball. He’s making the easy catches look easy and he’s learning where to move as the play develops. He found the soft spot in the defense as Allen escaped the pocket to catch and run for his first score.

Wide Receiver: B

Emmanuel Sanders (1) of the Buffalo Bills reacts after making a reception. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

The Bills completed 14 pass attempts to their wide receivers this week. Stefon Diggs led the way with seven catches for 114 yards on 10 targets.

Emmanuel Sanders caught five of his six targets for 74 yards with Cole Beasley grabbing his two targets for 18 yards. Davis was targeted just once.

Diggs had his largest game this season but the end zone has eluded him more than last season. Sanders has filled the wide receiver two role averaging 62 yards per game. Beasley flows in and out of the game plan depending on the week.

The Bills have used Davis less and less this season. When they want to run the ball, Davis is their go-to player but with Diggs, Sanders, and Beasley healthy he isn’t entering the game in most regular passing situations.

Offensive Line: A

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) hands the ball off to running back Devin Singletary (26) (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

The offensive line made a few adjustments heading into Week 4. Ike Boettger started at left guard with Jon Feliciano out with a concussion, Darryl Williams moved from right tackle to right guard, and rookie Spencer Brown started at right tackle. Cody Ford moved to the bench.

The Bills’ offensive line had their easiest matchup yet this season but with so many moving pieces the challenge only increased. Due to wet weather in Orchard Park, the ground game was extra important for the Bills offense, and Buffalo finished averaging five yards per carry. They allowed one sack.

Concerning for this unit is the health of left tackle Dion Dawkins leaving with a lower-body injury. When he went out, Brown shifted to left tackle, Williams back to right tackle, and Ford came in to play right guard.

Defensive Line: A+

Buffalo Bills defensive end Boogie Basham (96) pressures as Houston Texans offensive tackle Marcus Cannon (61) blocks during the first half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Spoiler Alert: Every Bills defensive unit is getting an A+.

The Houston Texans finished the first half with eight total yards. Davis Mills averages -2.3 yards per pass attempt. When the game wasn’t in garbage time, the Texans couldn’t do a thing.

The Bills defensive line beat down the Texans. Boogie Basham recorded his first career sack, pinning Houston on its own one-yard line. Star Lotulelei sacked Mills on third down and eight, to force a punt. Ed Oliver went untouched for a five-yard tackle for loss.

Jerry Hughes had the play of the day for the unit. Houston had fourth and two from the Buffalo six-yard line. The Texans went play-action and Hughes was free off the edge. Mills had a wide-open running back in the flat but Hughes got a hand on the pass to force the incompletion. It was the closest Houston was to the end zone all game.

Linebacker: A+

Buffalo Bills middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (49) intercepts a pass. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The worst thing to happen to this unit on Sunday was a hamstring injury to Matt Milano that removed him from the game early in the second quarter.

Tremaine Edmunds and Tyler Matekevich intercepted Mills. A.J. Klein recovered a fumble. Klein was Milano’s replacement. Klein tipped the pass that landed in Micah Hyde’s arms for the Bills’ second interception of the first half.

Secondary: A+

Buffalo Bills cornerback Cam Lewis (47) and defensive tackle Harrison Phillips (99) react to a defensive play against the Houston Texans. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Bills’ secondary lacked Jordan Poyer and Taron Johnson. Still, they delivered quite the welcome to the NFL moment to Davis Mills.

Cam Lewis was elevated from the practice squad to play the slot and Jaquan Johnson started at safety for Poyer. Lewis forced a fumble, Johnson picked Mills off.

Tre’Davious White was responsible for trailing Brandin Cooks. Cooks entered Sunday third in the NFL in receiving yards with games of 132, 78, and 112 yards. White held him to 47 yards.

Special Teams: B+

Tyler Bass (2) of the Buffalo Bills celebrates with teammates. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

Tyler Bass went four-for-four on field goals and four-for-four on extra points. His longest kick was 33 yards.

Matt Haack only punted once for 44 yards.

The unit keeps hurting itself with penalties on returns. The Bills had two illegal block in the back penalties on back-to-back punt returns committed by Tyrel Dodson and Siran Neal, respectively.

On kickoffs, they held former Bill Andre Roberts to a long return of 18 yards.

1

1