Bills vs. Texans: Behind Enemy Lines with Toro Times


To get a different perspective on Sunday’s matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans at Ralph Wilson Stadium, we talked with Josh McSwain, editor of the Texans blog Toro Times here at FanSided:

1) Do you think Houston’s lack of a consistent QB will damage them in a game against a good defense like Buffalo’s?

I don’t. In fact, I no longer believe that criticism to be accurate. The Texans have their guy now in Brian Hoyer and there’s really no debate about it. Hoyer’s struggles from early in the year seem to have gone away, and Houston isn’t rotating QBs on a weekly basis anymore. Buffalo has a good defense, there is no doubt about that. They really got after Tom Brady against the Patriots a couple weeks ago, and that does raise some concerns in pass protection. But Hoyer is solidly in control.

More from Buffalo Bills News

2) The Texans have won four in a row and five of their last six. What has changed from the beginning of the year?

The defense has really turned it around. Early in the year they were getting gashed on the ground and giving up big plays through the air. Some guys like Whitney Mercilus have stepped up on the front seven and allowed some of the heat to be taken off of J.J. Watt, which has in turn allowed him to make more plays. Getting Kareem Jackson back in the secondary also helps.

3) Brian Cushing seems to have his swagger back after returning from an injury last season. How big has he been and how much of a difference does he make?

He is a very aggressive player. Middle linebackers are the quarterbacks of the defense, get everyone lined up, etc. His play has also diverted some of the attention Watt might get.

4) Speaking of defense, this guy JJ Watt is pretty good. What type of day do you see him having against a less-than-stellar offensive line? 

I could easily seem him getting a couple of sacks. Early on in the year people were saying that he wasn’t playing as well as he had been, but a few weeks later and he’s on top of the league in sacks. That said, it will be tough because he will be chasing Tyrod Taylor around in the backfield and I’m not sold that he will have many chances to get sacks because I imagine the Bills will run a lot because that’s their style of offense, and it goes into the weaker area of the Texans defense.

5) Will Alfred Blue be able to establish a ground attack against this Bills defense?

I think Blue might have a hard go of it on Sunday. The Texans offense has been fairly one dimensional this season, and Blue has made more of his big plays in the passing game. The only thing that might help the Texans is the loss of Kyle Williams in the middle of the Bills defensive line. He was a very underrated run stuffing tackle. That might open up some run lanes for the Texans, but still with Marcell Dareus in the middle it will make it hard to run inside.

6) Prediction and score.

I imagine a low scoring game with a lot of field goals. I think Hopkins makes a big play for the Texans and scores while it’ll be an unsung hero for the Bills that hits pay dirt, maybe Charles Clay. I think Dan Carpenter hits a field goal in the last few minutes of the game that wins it. I think Shady McCoy has a fairly big day, goes over 100 yards and overall the more desperate team (Buffalo) gets it done. I have the Bills winning this one 16-13.