Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pass-happy Bills nixed by opportunistic Texans 'D'


The Buffalo Bills' offense literally came out throwing against the Houston Texans Sunday. Problem was, Houston was more than ready for it.

The Texans' defense, behind an impeccable performance from J.J. Watt, nabbed two crucial interceptions from an unusually pass-happy Bills offense and rebounded from a 10-0 deficit in the first half Sunday on their way to a 23-17 victory.

"I think when we get into games where we threw the ball as much as we did, that gets us in trouble," coach Doug Marrone said via the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle after the game.

Quarterback E.J. Manual attempted 44 passes, the most in his brief career, and finished with a 48 percent completion percentage. The plethora of passes opened up plenty of opportunities for Watt, who had nine QB hits (a career high) and an 80-yard pick for a touchdown in the third quarter, which flipped the switch on the game's momentum. Manuel's other interception occurred with less than 1:30 left in the fourth quarter as the team attempted to drive down the field down six points.

Following the poor performance, Manuel didn't mince words about his play down the stretch.

"Nobody says it's gonna be easy. Plain and simple," he said. "We can look back at this at the end of the season and be 14-2. Who knows. I think the biggest thing right now for our team, for myself, is to learn from it, accept it and be a man about it.

"Don't shy away from it; we lost a game."

Buffalo attempted only 23 rushing plays against a defense that was allowing more than 140 yards per game on average. The strategy was similar in the team's previous loss to San Diego, where offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett attempted only 22 running plays, while Manuel attempted 40 passes.

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