As the 2012 NFL Draft is now behind us, its time to take an in depth look at the Buffalo Bills 2012 opponents. In this series I will examine each of our 13 opponents off season moves as well as take a look at what their team looks like heading into the 2012 season.
Week 9: At Houston Texans
Back to Bills football after the Week 8 bye week finds us back on the road, this time to the AFC South’s favored Houston Texans. This is one game that I am glad we have an extra week to prepare for. Unfortunately there is no advantage as Houston shares our Week 8 bye. More on the Texans after a look at their off season moves.
Off Season Free Agent Signings and Losses
FB Moran Norris
RB Justin Forsett
CB Alan Ball
QB John Beck
ILB Bradie James
P Donnie Jones
K Shayne Graham
RB Arian Foster
C Chris Myers
ILB Tim Dobbins
S Quintin Demps
Bills sign DE Mario Williams
Traded ILB DeMeco Ryans to Eagles for a 4th round pick and swapped 3rd rounders
Bengals sign CB Jason Allen
Ravens sign WR Jacoby Jones
Raiders sign QB Matt Leinart
Redskins sign K Neil Rackers
Broncos sign TE Joel Dreessen
Chiefs sign OT Eric Winston
Cowboys sign FB Lawrence Vickers
G Kasey Studdard
DE Tim Bulman
S Dominique Barber
WR Bryant Johnson
RB Derrick Ward
QB Jake Delhomme
Franchise Tag: None
2012 Draft Selections
26. Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois
68. DeVier Posey, WR, Ohio State
76. Brandon Brooks, G, Miami of Ohio
99. Ben Jones, C/G, Georgia
121. Keshawn Martin, WR, Michigan State
126. Jared Crick, DE/DT, Nebraska
161. Randy Bullock, K, Texas A&M
195. Nick Mondek, OT, Purdue
Let me start by saying that I think Houston’s 2011 team on paper is better than the 2012 version. Losing Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans, and Jason Allen will hurt this stellar defensive unit. On the offensive side the Texans lost two starters on their O-line and have yet to upgrade their number 2 receiver opposite Andre Johnson. They did draft a couple (who the hell are they) receivers but most don’t see them making an immediate impact.
Matt Shaub is back in good health and as we know is a very good Quarterback. Andre Johnson is a receiver who must be accounted for on every snap as he is still a top 5 Wide Receiver in the NFL. I do wonder how Arian Foster will play after receiving his $43.5 million pay day. His production dropped a little from 2010 to 2011 but that was mainly due to missing three games with an injury. Thanks to Ben Tate filling in admirably, Houston still bolstered the 2nd ranked rushing attack in the NFL. Buffalo must contain Foster (and Tate) as well as Andre Johnson to be able to win this road game.
Houston’s 3-4 Defense is a stout one. They finished 4th last year in scoring defense. Fitzpatrick will have to play in top form in order to limit three and outs. I feel that if Buffalo’s offense is able to stay on the field and wear this defense out, that we will have a good chance at winning this game.
The key (miss) match up in this game will be Mario Williams vs. Rashad Butler. Butler, according to www.houstontexans.com will be the starting Right Tackle this season. In six seasons Butler has played in 42 games and started in 4. I know Bills fans are smiling at this one.