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Houston Texans Vs. Buffalo Bills: Week Nine Preview

November 4th, 2012 at 8:18 AM
By Mike Wood

'Steve Johnson' photo (c) 2011, Jeffrey Beall - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ The Houston Texans finally hit the gridiron two weeks after their huge victory over AFC rival Baltimore Ravens. At 6-1, the Texans are in the driver’s seat both within the division and the conference. Today they face off against the Buffalo Bills, also coming off a bye following a one-point loss to the Tennessee Titans and currently stand at 3-4. The Texans will look to continue asserting their dominance at home while the Bills will attempt to avoid back-to-back losses.

 

GAMEPLAN

 

Run Early, Often

The Bills’ defense ranks last in points allowed and rushing yards. Naturally, any team would attack this glaring weakness with full force. Luckily for the Texans, they have RB Arian Foster. Furthermore, they have an offensive line that has the potential to take over a game, even if they’ve struggled mightily at times this season. This appears to be as good a week as any for this unit to get back on track, dominate the trenches, and control the clock while moving the ball on the ground.

 

Stop RBs C.J. Spiller & Fred Jackson

The Bills sport one of the league’s top running back duos in Spiller and Jackson. They combine for 5.3 yards per carry and are effective out of the backfield as pass catchers. The Bills offense revolves around these two, so keeping them contained will be a must for the Texans’ D. The strategy will be to force Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to beat the Texans through the air, something Fitzpatrick does fairly well, but does cough the ball up frequently. Look for the Texans’ defense to force a couple turnovers from Fitzpatrick if they can contain the running backs.

 

Improvement On Special Teams

Texans head coach Gary Kubiak has been very vocal about his displeasure for the play on specials teams this season. Neither return units have generated much in the way of field position. On the other side of the ball, the Bills lead the NFL in both kickoff and punt return yardage. The Texans’ coverage units have been stellar, but penalties and a few big returns prevent anybody from calling these units great. The Texans will need to stay even with the Bills when it comes to special teams play today.

 

KEY MATCHUP

Houston Texans Offensive Line vs. Buffalo Bills Defensive Front

 

BIG GAME ALERT

 

RB Arian Foster

As I already mentioned, the Bills are last in the NFL in rushing while the Texans are among the league’s best. Foster is having a solid season, currently fifth in the NFL in rushing with 659 yards rushing. Foster is on extra big game alert today because of the inactive status of backfield mate Ben Tate, who is suffering from a hamstring injury. With additional touches inevitable, look for Foster to put up another 100 yards rushing and be a factor out of the backfield.

 

PREDICTION

The Texans are simply a better team than the Bills are right now across the board. They have distinct advantages offensively and defensively, particularly in the trenches. To give the Bills credit, they do a nice job fighting and are a middle of the road type team in the NFL. Still, that wont be enough to overcome the Texans at home, who should improve to 7-1 today.

 

TEXANS 31, BILLS 14

Tags: Arian Foster, Buffalo Bills, Football, Gary Kubiak, Houston, Houston Texans, NFL, Ryan Fitzpatrick

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