The Houston Texans won an ugly game against the Buffalo Bills by a score of 20-13. Both teams had less than 230 yards of total offense and coming into the game, the Texans' offense was the fourth-ranked offense in the NFL in yards per game but could only muster 3.8 yards per offensive play.
The game turned in the Texans' favor after the Bills lost quarterback Josh Allen after he was sandwiched on a hit that resulted in an injury to his throwing arm elbow. Allen threw one more pass that was nowhere close to his intended target and at the time of leaving the game, Allen was 10-of-16 for 84 yards before that final pass.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott did not give any indication on the severity of the injury to the rookie signal-caller. McDermott was not pleased with the officiating regarding the hit on Allen that he thought was late. While Allen was being attended to by Bills trainers, McDermott was in the middle of the field giving an earful to officials.
"We talk about protecting the quarterback, and I thought it was late," McDermott explained after the game. "But at the end of the day, the officials rule over the game, and they obviously didn't. So, I just wanted to make sure that the quarterback was protected."
The Bills opted for Nathan Peterman, who promptly threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Zay Jones, who beat Texans cornerback Shareece Wright on a double move for a 16-yard touchdown. After that touchdown, the Texans' defense settled down and went to work on Peterman, confusing him with coverage. After the touchdown pass, Peterman was 4-of-9 for 39 yards and two interceptions.
Both Kareem Jackson and Johnathan Joseph had interceptions late in the fourth quarter -- Joseph's was a pick-six while Jackson's iced the game for the Texans.
"Coach Romeo [Crennel], he had a great call for the defense," Joseph said of his pick-six. "It was a zone pressure. I think Kareem [Jackson] did a great job all day of disguising things, and we hadn't made that call all day. I think it was a third there, or second down, and I saw Kareem -- actually the quarterback pointed the opposite way, so we knew he was going to be the free guy -- and I just made the play. It was great execution from my standpoint."
The Texans' defense held the Bills' offense to 229 yards while their special teams made an even bigger difference on the day, forcing a fumble, recovering a muffed punt and blocking a punt. Texans head coach Bill O'Brien was pleased with the much-needed game from the special teams unit.
"They had a really good day, big day," O'Brien said of the special teams performance. "Usually, you're trying to win all three phases, and if you can win two out of three phases then you have a good chance of winning the game. Obviously, defensively, on special teams we won those phases. We blocked a punt, did a great job covering that kick where we had that kickoff from our own 20."
Houston's win over the Bills pushed the Texans' record to 3-3, moving them into a tie atop the AFC South. Their three-game winning streak is their first since Week 14-16 of the 2016 season. The Bills dropped to 2-4 in the AFC East, which has them at the bottom of the division.