Okay, I must admit, I am still traumatized by the events of January 1993 so I am not a big fan of the Bills. I will admit that I like a lot of their fan base though because I like knowledgeable polite fans.
Anyway, this week's edition of "Five Questions from an Enemy Blogger" were asked by Gene Battaglia of the Buffalo FanHouse. He is actual legit media as the Bills beat reporter for Newsradio 1180 WHAM in Rochester, and serves as the gameday correspondent for Sirius Satellite Radio. So here goes the Q&A:
1. We all know here in Western New York how good a possession receiver Eric Moulds is. How has Moulds played this year?
Solid. Just like him. Very professional, knows where the sticks are and has caught 77% of the passes thrown to him. Football Outsiders wide receiver statistics show that he is performing well for the Texans this year. On Thursday, Gary Kubiak expressed a desire to get Moulds the ball more.
Though his play on the field has been dependable, what he has done for Andre Johnson is remarkable. AJ is having an incredible season. Part of this is having Moulds on the field at the same time, and part of this is the mentoring that Moulds has done with AJ. In training camp, they were pretty much inseparable. He has also been working closely with David Carr, and the Texans have really needed a quality veteran on the offensive side of the ball to serve this roll.
2. After a big win over Jacksonville, are most Texans fans looking at this match up against the 3-6 Bills and thinking 'W?" And if so, do you consider this game a 'trap' game.
I don't think so. I think people remember the dismantling that happened last year in Reliant Stadium, and the loss the Texans had to the Titans recently. The Texans aren't a consistent enough team yet to count any game as a "W." In addition, the team has injuries to some key players which is a concern. That being said, the Texans schedule to date, according to Football Outsiders, has been the #1 hardest in the league, and the schedule for the rest of the year is the 30th hardest. It is hard not to think of this as the downhill part of the schedule.
3. You have probably been asked this a thousand times, but we need to know: What on earth were the Texans thinking when they passed on Reggie Bush?
Actually, I'm not hearing that much any more given their relative performances. Now the media is tending to do more articles about how they were wrong in saying that the Texans were stupid for passing on Bush, like this one. If somebody really wants to know what the Texans saw in Mario Williams, I suggest that they check out this link--it contains a lot of stuff about Williams that a lot of people ignored in the rush to call him a bust.
The short answer probably is that the Texans had few playmakers on the defensive side of the ball, quality defensive ends are harder to find than quality running backs in a salary cap era and tend to stay in the league longer, and Reggie Bush was unproven as a between the tackles type of runner. It still is too early to judge Bush v. Williams, but the hype on this was totally ridiculous. I know the stereotype is that females are the more emotional gender, but whoever thinks that hasn't watched the ESPNish hysteria come draft day.
4. How would you describe the Texans running game? It seems Gary Kubiak is bringing the Denver philosophy to Houston.
A work in progress. Domanick Davis would be the perfect back to run Kubiak's system. Unfortunately, he was put on IR before the season started with a serious knee problem. So, out of the Texans three running backs, two of them didn't participate in training camp with the team and were acquired from cuts or trades. They've been experimenting with the position with just a bit of success. They looked great in the preseason but haven't been able to consistently translate that to the regular season. Recent games have looked better, they've stayed committed to the run, and when the run game is working, a lot of the Denvery style plays like bootlegs work better.
The other part of the equation is that the Texans have had an extremely injured offensive line, and it is not yet the type of line you would want if you were running a zone blocking scheme. They have improved in their pass blocking, but part of that is the shorter drops that Carr is doing.
The Bills win if their pass rush rattles Carr into making bad decisions and turnovers.