Buffalo Bills Winners and Losers: Bills/Texans Edition
The score was closer than many assumed, but a loss is still a loss.
The Buffalo Bills played the Houston Texans tight in the first half and headed into halftime down 7-6. Unfortunately, a combination of poor play-calling and lack defensive pressure lead to a Texans 21-9 victory.
The Bills now hold a 3-5 record and head to Gillette Stadium to play the New England Patriots. The game will be a must-win, as the Bills will have little to no chance of securing a spot in the playoffs if they fall to 3-6.
Winner: Mario Williams
Mario Williams disappeared for much of the second half, but he did enough to be one of the few winners in today's game.
Returning to Houston after admitting that he didn't want to leave, Williams played one of his best games of the season.
Williams sacked Matt Schaub early in the second quarter and ended with seven total tackles, five solo and two assists.
While the scoreboard didn't favor the Bills, I'm sure Williams will take some solace in his performance against his former team.
Loser: Chan Gailey
Down 7-6 at halftime you'd think that Chan Gailey would have lead a balanced attack in the second-half. Instead, Gailey pretty much abandoned the run.
Per Howard Simon of WGR550.com:
the last time a #Bills RB carried the ball was with 8:23 left in 3rd qtr, a Spiller run. CJ had 2 carries in 2nd half, Fred had 1.
— howard (@hsimon62) November 4, 2012
Bills had 27 plays on offense in 2nd half: passes called on 24 plays, 3 rushes by RB's.
— howard (@hsimon62) November 4, 2012
I'd like to say I was surprised by this, but it's the Bills.
In the first half, C.J. Spiller became the first running back this season to run the ball over 20 yards on the Texans. In return, he was rewarded with two second-half carries. Fred Jackson was only given one carry in the second half.
The Bills are halfway through their season, and they still seemingly do not comprehend that Spiller and Jackson are their top playmakers. That's a big reason why they are currently 3-5.
Winner: Shawn Powell
Shawn Powell has been listed as a loser in my last two "Winners and Losers" columns. Today, I have to give him credit.
Powell was excellent against the Houston Texans. He had five punts on the day, and his punt average was 49.6 yards. Two of Powell's punts landed inside the 20-yard line.
There weren't many bright spots on the Bills today, but Powell was one of them.
Hopefully, this is the punter the Bills see for the remainder of the season.
Loser: Aaron Williams
Aaron Williams was carted off today after injuring his right knee. I never like to see anyone injured, and I hope he has a speedy recovery.
That being said, Andre Johnson was having a field day against the second-year corner out of Texas. The injury occurred on a 34-yard pass to Johnson in the third quarter. Johnson is a tough matchup for many teams, but I'm not sure why the Bills put Williams on Johnson.
While there is still plenty of time for Williams to turn his career around, up to this point, he's shown no ability to cover wide receivers.
Winner: Alex Carrington
When the Bills needed a win against the Arizona Cardinals, Alex Carrington came up big.
At the end of regulation, Carrington tipped a 38-yard field goal attempt by Jay Feely to send the game to overtime.
Today against the Texans, Carrington blocked a Shayne Graham field goal.
While the block didn't help the Bills win today, he still deserves some recognition for his strong play on special teams.
Losers: Bills Fans
The Bills haven't been to the playoffs since 1999, yet Bills fans are as faithful as they come. What do we have to show for it? Another season heading towards mediocrity.
Unfortunately, important changes to the Bills franchise will not occur until Ralph Wilson, Jr. passes. His ineptitude as an owner for the last decade has held the fanbase hostage.
Whether it be his front-office selections, coaching choices or quality of roster, the Bills have lost credibility in the NFL with each passing season.
Bills fans deserve so much better. Here's to hoping that next year is better than this season. I unfortunately no longer "Bill-ieve" in this year's team.