Check out our slideshow of the Texans vs the Bills on Sunday afternoon.
So that was "Judgment Day" huh? All righty then.
What was billed (by Mario Williams) as Mario Williams' authoritative homecoming, basically turned into a fairly ho-hum day of work for the Texans, a 21-9 victory over the Buffalo Bills. Consider the following numbers:
- The Texans won by 12 points. (The closing line in Vegas was 11.5.)
- Arian Foster had over 100 yards rushing, Andre Johnson had over 100 yards receiving, and Matt Schaub had 268 yards passing.
- J.J. Watt and Connor Barwin each hd a sack.
- The Texans held the ball for nearly 35 minutes of the clock.
My point is that the actual game Sunday was about the closest thing you could probably find to a computer simulation of this game if you'd run it on Saturday. Everyone just kinda, sorta showed up and did their job.
As always, there were winners and losers. Here they are...
4. Donnie Jones Let's be very clear about one thing -- the Texans special teams have largely been atrocious this season. They have no explosive plays in the return game, and their kick coverage teams have been so bad that when the Bills returned a kick to their own 32 yard line yesterday, Lance Zierlein and I said "32 yard line, that's not that bad" at the exact same time in the press box. Keep in mind that, according to footballoutsiders.com, the Giants offense has the best starting field position per drive in the NFL, and it's their own 32 yard line -- and Lance and I were fine with the Bills starting at their 32. But my point with this paragraph (where was I, again?) is that the one bright spot on special teams has been the play of punter Donnie Jones. He's consistently swung field position and yesterday, when the Texans needed distance, he gave it to them (49.4 yards per punt).
3. Arian Foster Apparently, Arian Foster was sick on Saturday night, up all night with vomiting and stomach issues that lingered into this morning, which basically means that he was dealing with the same issues that half the fans in the blue lot appear to be dealing with by about 10:30 am on game day. Well, Foster responded with a huge game with 24 carries for 111 yards and a touchdown, which according to my tailgating conversion chart equates to 14 beers and an entire brisket. Blue lot salutes you, Arian Foster! Brothers in vomit.
2. Whitney Mercilus For the second straight game, Mercilus made his presence felt, forcing a fumble when the Bills were driving for a touchdown to cut the game to one score in the fourth quarter, and then getting a sack late in the game. With no Brian Cushing (and, subplot alert, with Connor Barwin entering free agency after the season), the development of Mercilus is both intriguing and necessary.
1. Indianapolis Colts fans After their win over the Dolphins on Sunday, the Colts have me feeling very good about my prediction for them to make the 2012 playoffs. Of course, that muffled euphoria over possibly being right is cancelled out a hundredfold by the feeling that the Texans have to share a division with Andrew Luck for the next 12 years. THAT blows.
4. Buffalo Bills fans Mario Williams had a fairly productive game for the Bills -- 7 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and a sack, or as we like to call it in Houston, "just another day at the office for J.J.Watt." And therein lies the rub with Mario. He will float aimlessly for weeks at a time, but then when someone decides to punch him in the mouth or give him a reason to care (as if $50 million guaranteed isn't a reason), he becomes Superman. Sadly, this will delude some Bills fans into thinking that Mario has "turned the corner," but we all know that's not the case. It's like watching whoever the next poor sap is to date Kim Kardashian. You know how it's going to end.
3. Chan Gailey I don't watch much Bills football, so I hadn't seen Gailey on my television screen in some time, but if I may say -- WOW, dude has aged. (I guess Bills football will do that to you.) There are certain people who can pull off the bearded look and it actually makes them look hipper or more vibrant. James Harden, Arian Foster, and Kenny Loggins come to mind. (Just checking to see if you're paying attention.) Gailey looks like Jack Bauer after the Chinese released him from prison at the beginning of Season 6 of 24. Oh also, he's going to get fired. Soon.
2. Livers (Battle-Drink scorecard) By my count, and without having watched the telecast of the game to see about results based on some of the squares, this week's Battle-Drink card yielded AT LEAST the following: 66 sips, 25 gulps, 2 chugs, 6 shotguns, 4 shots.
1. Bobby Hebert Let me first say that I like Bobby Hebert (former New Orleans Saints quarterback and now afternoon radio host on WWL in New Orleans). I've had him on my show many times, and I find him to be a compelling, energetic, and charmingly biased guest on all things Saints and LSU. Let me also say that I am not at all surprised to hear the story about Hebert getting kicked out of the press box at the LSU-Alabama game in Baton Rouge on Saturday night for cheering the Tigers. (Point of disclosure: Cheering in the press box is a HUGE no-no.) Hebert is a great guy whose self-awareness level, at least in press boxes, is like a negative 14 on a scale of 1 to 10. Hebert's press box antics at Saints games have been immortalized on YouTube, that's all you need to know:
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Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.