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Week 6 Game Recap: Buffalo Bills 13, Houston Texans 20


What you need to know

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo struggled to move the ball consistently against the Houston Texans. Josh Allen hurt his elbow and was forced from the game in the second half. Nathan Peterman replaced Allen and threw two late crippling interceptions. LeSean McCoy continues to look elusive but is hindered by a line that does not open holes consistently and a passing game that does not back defenses out of the box.

Houston Texans

Deshaun Watson is dinged up, chest, ribs and a bruised lung really had an effect on his day. His 25 attempts were the least in a game since his first NFL start his rookie season against the Cincinnati Bengals with 24 pass attempts.

What was once a solid outing for the tight end group they were a complete ghost position group. Only Jordan Akins had a reception, while Ryan Griffin and Jordan Thomas were shut out in the passing game.

Buffalo Bills

QB Josh Allen, 38 offensive snaps, Pass: 10 - 17 - 84 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 20 - 0
Josh Allen struggled against Houston. The game script allowed Buffalo to play with a conservative game plan which limited Allen’s ability to make big mistakes. No matter the game plan, Allen showed repeatedly he cannot read a defense or change sides of the field with his read. Allen had multiple opportunities where there were reads to the backside of a primary target and instead of transitioning the read across the field, he just pulled the ball down to run. Allen did make two nice throws to Kelvin Benjamin down the field but had limited other success. Allen left the game with an injured elbow he appeared to suffer from a hit. The injury appeared to be from a hit to his elbow more than a throw causing the pain. Allen was replaced by Nathan Peterman.

QB Nathan Peterman, 24 offensive snaps, Pass: 6 - 12 - 61 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0
Nathan Peterman came into the game against Houston after Josh Allen suffered an elbow injury. He was disastrous, throwing two interceptions, including a pick 6 that gave Houston the win. The other interception officially ended the game was a throw back across his body that got deflected into the air for an easy interception. Peterman did manage a touchdown to Zay Jones in the end zone on a well run double move. Peterman has thrown 9 interception on 79 career passes.

RB LeSean McCoy, 47 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 73 - 0, Rec: 3 - 21 - 0 (5 targets)
LeSean McCoy continues to look elusive in and out of his cuts, despite playing in a poor offense. There are rarely large areas for McCoy to run but McCoy tends to get better opportunities when he runs from shotgun formations. While McCoy looks elusive, the offensive line and the passing game do little to create room for McCoy to get big gains. McCoy is still capable of creating offense if he should find himself in a better situation.

RB Chris Ivory, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 5 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (1 targets)
Chris Ivory has solidified himself as the clear backup to LeSean McCoy. Ivory ran hard against Houston and was used early in the game while also operating in short yardage. Buffalo had a late lead and used Ivory as their back trying to grind away the clock.

WR Zay Jones, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 35 - 1 (8 targets)
Zay Jones led the Bills in targets with 8 and scored the only Buffalo touchdown. Jones ran a double move with a hard fake to create room for a score in the back of the end zone, one of the few times this year where Jones has been used as a vertical threat. Jones was also used in a chain moving role, with multiple targets on third down, including a catch that set up a long field goal. Jones has been a much better player this year than last and has seen a consistent role in a possession receiver type role.

WR Kelvin Benjamin, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 43 - 0 (6 targets)
Kelvin Benjamin had an inefficient game despite finishing second on the team in targets. Benjamin’s lone big play was a deep throw from Josh Allen where he made a contested catch down the field. Benjamin was also the target on a curl route that was jumped by Jonathan Joseph for a game winning pick-6. The throw was telegraphed, but Benjamin did little to prevent the easy interception.

TE Charles Clay, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 20 - 0 (5 targets)
Charles Clay was used in multiple RPO plays and was used in the slot for a reception but continues to see only short area targets. Clay has shown the ability to make big plays but is not aided by Josh Allen’s ball placements. Clay has had multiple opportunities in recent weeks to run after the catch but was forced to adjust to an inaccurate throw from Allen. Like the rest of the offense, Clay’s upside is severely limited with the rudimentary game plan and the poor throws from Allen.


Houston Texans

QB Deshaun Watson, 61 offensive snaps, Pass: 15 - 25 - 177 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 2 - 2 - 0
It was clear Deshaun Watson was not right the entire game and it showed on how he played. Many have appreciated his style of play but only attempting 25 passes and 2 rushes, it was his lowest output as a quarterback since his first start as a rookie. Watson continued to not push the ball deep and really concentrated throwing the football to DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller and Keke Coutee. Hopkins continues to be Watson’s favorite target and he hit him on a corner route from the slot for a 13 yard touchdown. Also, he hit Hopkins on a 24 yard reception to get the ball down the field. He had some nice throws in the 10-19 yard rands hitting Coutee for 22 and Fuller for 17 and 16. Watson did do much with his legs and his longest run of the game was for 3 yards which was a first down. Even after a slow game, Watson woke up in the 4th quarter to march the Texans down the field for a game tying field goal, he was 5 of 7 for 54 yards but his big throw was to Fuller on a deep ball that drew a defensive pass interference. It was clear the Texans were not interested in opening up the game to expose Watson and it was clear with his lack of production.

RB Lamar Miller, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 46 - 0, Rec: 2 - 25 - 0 (3 targets)
Back after missing last week’s game with a chest injury and it continues to be up and down for Miller as a running back. 71 total yards on the day, Miller was rusty and struggling to make a difference in the run game. He did have some runs that looked solid and that was when he put his head down and hit the hole with a purpose. Miller’s longest run was 11-yards but the biggest development was him getting some screen pass looks thrown his way. He turned one of the screen passes to a 16-yard gain and another check down for 9-yards. Miller continues to try and find his way in the offense and after a strong start the first two weeks he has been anything but that.

RB Alfred Blue, 25 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 26 - 0, Rec: 2 - 17 - 0 (3 targets)
Texans decided to turn to Alfred Blue when they needed the running game to wake up and he had the longest rush of the day for both sides with a 17-yard gain. Blue is unlucky with the offensive line getting beat and creating some negative runs for him. Blue also had a key reception on the final drive for 14-yards. Blue is going to continue to spell Miller moving forward but how he is used when Foreman returns is going to be interesting to watch.

WR DeAndre Hopkins, 61 offensive snaps, Pass: 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rec: 5 - 63 - 1 (6 targets)
It was a slow day at the office for the offense but DeAndre Hopkins continues to find ways to make plays. His 12-yard touchdown reception got the scoring going for the Texans on a nice corner route on a well placed ball from Watson. Hopkins also had a 24-yard reception from the slot that only saw one spin move but it was a key play in the drive to tie the game up in the 4th quarter. Hopkins continues to be a menace in the 10-19 yard range, he had receptions for 24, 14, 13 and 12 creating easy throws for Watson with his precise route running.

WR Keke Coutee, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 33 - 0 (5 targets)
The Texans continue to work to find ways to get the rookie slot receiver involved in the offense and he just missed a touchdown on a jet sweep for a -1 loss leaving him short of the goal line. He was also in line for a big gain until a Bills defensive back made a diving play to break up a pass right before it hit his hands. Coutee’s longest reception came on a 22-yard catch and run in the 1st quarter but after that he was kept silent. He did have a 12-yard gain on a smoke screen that saw him catch and eat up yards but other than that it was a slow day. It is clear that the Texans want him in the offense and he will continue to get targets.

WR Will Fuller, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 33 - 0 (3 targets)
Another quiet week for Fuller but when the Texans needed some big catches to get the chains moving Watson finally looked his direction. Fuller had receptions for 17 and 16 but teams continue to be scared of him as a deep threat. Fuller had coverage beat early in the 1st quarter but Watson missed him with an errant throw, if it was put on the money it would have been a walk in touchdown for Fuller. There was a deep ball intended for Fuller that resulted in a defensive pass interference and he was shook up after landing on a camera but he shook it off and came in a play later.