After an offensive explosion against Washington in week 3, the Bills stayed at home and dominated the Houston Texans as the defense pitched their 2nd shutout of the season. The Texans could do absolutely nothing on offense, as the Bills defense smothered them from start to finish, and the rain kept coming in droves, keeping the Texans incapable of moving the ball. The Bills’ dominant performance in week 4 should leave fans feeling good, as they have now outscored their last 3 opponents 118-21. They are a dominant team, and there are a lot of different aspects to this win that should be discussed
As with the previous weeks, we’ll take a look at the things that inspired, something that needs to be inquired about, the part of the team that requires a better performance, and the most irksome part of the game.
Inspire: Bills Defense and Replacements
The Bills’ defense smothered another bad offense and shut them out.
The Texans could do absolutely nothing on offense, and the Bills picked up 5 turnovers, and sacking rookie Davis Mills 3 times. Bills starting Nickel CB Taron Johnson, and starting SS Jordan Poyer were both out today with injuries. With two tough primetime games coming up, the Bills decided to play it safe and keep both on the sideline.
Cam Lewis replaced Taron Johnson at Nickel and played very well in coverage, had a TFL, and forced a fumble. Frankly, he looked a lot like Taron Johnson in this game. Jaquan Johnson wasn’t asked to do a whole lot in the game, as the Texans struggled to do anything offensively, however when the game was in hand, Johnson had an INT to pour more salt in the gaping wound that is the Houston Texans.
While the Texans are certainly a mess, and the weather did neither offense any favors, it’s very impressive that both replacements made an impact in today’s game.
Inquire: Bills offense
The Bills scored 40 points today, which is what you want to see on any given Sunday.
The Bills could have gotten closer to 60 points had they not stalled out multiple times in the red zone. The Bills have talked about how Sean McDermott emphasizes the “double-dip” scoring going into halftime, and scoring on the first drive coming out of halftime. The Bills did exactly that, but both drives were field goals.
This Texans defense is not good, and the Bills could have had this game wrapped up and put away before the third quarter ended. Allen didn’t play poorly, but there were some overthrows, especially to start the game, that were concerning. Some of that could be weather-related, but it’s a concern nonetheless.
Dawson Knox however continues his hot start to the year, reeling in 5 catches for 37 yards and 2 TDs. Moss continued to be efficient in the ground game, going for 61 yards on 14 carries for a 4.3 average, and a rushing TD that iced the game away completely. Again, the Bills offense did not play poorly, however, there are still issues with Allen’s consistency, and he needs to find that consistency soon with the Chiefs coming up on Sunday Night Football.
Require: Offensive Line
The Bills Offensive Line had to get shuffled around due to the injury of Jon Feliciano at LG. They decided to start Boettger to replace Feliciano on the left side, but they also moved Daryl WIlliams to RG, started rookie Spencer Brown at RT, and benched Cody Ford outright.
Ford struggled mightily last game against Washington, surrendering 11 pressures, so it’s not surprising that he was benched. It’s not surprising the Boettger, a favorite of OL coach Bobby Johnson, got the start today. It’s more surprising that their ultimate decision was to move Daryl Williams to guard and start a rookie at RT.
Williams was reportedly in the mix at guard during the offseason after the Bills re-signed him to an extension, and Brown’s athleticism is unique to the Bills OL in particular. Brown flashed well during the game, looking very comfortable at RT, but Williams seemed to struggle, and he has had an inauspicious start to the season as a whole.
Both Dawkins and Boettger seemed to be fine, as he has been for the Bills since he had to replace Ford last year. It seemed that the Bills just couldn’t quite come up with the big run against a weak Texans defense that was missing its best run-stopping LB. Depending on the health of Feliciano through concussion protocol, it’ll be interesting if the Bills decide to roll with the same starting 5 on the OL again against the Chiefs.
Irk: Matt Milano’s Injury
Since Matt Milano has been drafted by the Bills, it has never been a question of talent. Milano has been explosive, aggressive, and outright one of the Bills best defensive players since on a very talented roster. However, he’s had a history of nagging injuries that have kept him out of the lineup.
Milano was off to a hot start in 2021, but left the game in the 2nd quarter and was replaced by AJ Klein. Klein had a good tip on a pass that led to a Micah Hyde INT, but losing one of your best players on the roster the week before playing Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in Kansas City would be some seriously bad timing.
With yet another blowout, and their 2nd shutout of the young season, the Bills are clearly feeling themselves, and it could not come at a better time. The Bills will be traveling to Kansas City to play on Sunday Night Football. Regardless of how one might feel about Kansas City’s first 4 games, they still have the best QB in the NFL in Patrick Mahomes, and two of the best offensive minds in the NFL with Andy Reid and Eric Bieniemy. The Bills will absolutely need to bring the best game against the Chiefs to keep this streak going and beat one of the toughest teams in the NFL.