Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/4/12
Houston coach Gary Kubiak talks some strategy with QB Matt Schaub during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game with the Bills. (AP Photo/Dave Einsel) If you look at the Houston Texans latest double-digit win, this a 21-9 defeat of the Buffalo Bills, you probably wouldn’t gauge how close the game actually was. For the majority of the game, no more than five points separated the teams with the Texans (7-1) up 7-6 at the break. But, despite being in a close game with the less-than-favored Bills (3-5), former Texans’ star Mario Williams now amongst their ranks, Houston came out in the second half and got it done once again. The Texans scored in the third quarter on a three-yard by Arian Foster, and then Matt Schaub connected with a wide-open Garrett Graham early in the fourth that essentially put the game out of reach. On the other side of the ball, Buffalo had a hard time doing anything against the Houston defense and could only manage field goals for the game’s duration. The Texans’ defense had a solid game once again, but it wasn’t until the fourth quarter that they left their mark on the game. Whitney Mercilus forced a fumble from Bills’ QB Ryan Fitzpatrick that stopped a Buffalo drive that could’ve cut the Texans lead to one possession with about four minutes left on the clock. Houston recovered the fumble, burned nearly two minutes of game time, and put the game away. Mercilus put an exclamation mark on the game with a game-ending sack.   Garrett Graham spikes the ball after scoring the Texans’ third touchdown of the day, Sunday against the Bills. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) It was another quality win for the Texans, this one coming after 14 days without a game. The most impressive thing about this team so far has been its ability to be unaffected by the scoreboard. Whether they’re up 20 or tied, the Texans have this way of playing like it’s the first play of the game— which can be scary. As you’ve heard all year, this team is well built and won’t surprise anyone if it goes the distance. If they continue to play like they’ve been able to so far, they shouldn’t have too many problems. The only thing about it is, they might find themselves in a bad way if they are behind in a game. As silly as it sounds, this team has hardly trailed in any game, let alone lost. It was hard to get a good measurement for how the Texans respond to such a situation in the one game where they were outplayed against the Packers earlier in the season. I hate to keep making it sound like Houston has to keep passing these “tests” to prove that they are an elite team, but next week’s matchup with Chicago will be a good indication as to what this team’s full capability could be. It won’t be one of those games that devastate a season if they lose, or squeak out a win. But for a team that has all but locked up a playoff spot in week 9 of the NFL season, they’ve got to start planning for the postseason. Follow @jon_coffey
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