Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/4/12
HOUSTON - In a homecoming bloated with rancor and disdain, Bills defensive end Mario Williams enjoyed his one moment in the spotlight with a second-quarter sack of Texans quarterback Matt Schaub and a taunting finger wag at the Texans' bench. That was the most memorable impression former Texans player Williams left on Sunday at Reliant Stadium, a development Texans fans surely found equally gratifying and fitting. The Texans churned out a 21-9 victory over the Bills by persevering through a sloppy and uneven performance on both sides of the ball. The efficiency they displayed with their dismantling of the Ravens two weeks ago was absent, but the final result was sufficient to keep the Texans (7-1) atop the AFC standings midway through their schedule. "We hurt ourselves in the first half," Schaub said. "I think we had three 1st-and-20 situations with penalties and some false starts. When you do that it's hard to make up for, no matter who you are or who you're playing. Those are tough situations, especially on some of those we had some big plays and then they were called back. "But in the second half we made some plays. We got back to who we are: running the football, our play-action game, and guys made some plays for us." Given the uneven matchup on paper, Williams was the focal point entering the game. He was selected by the Texans first overall in 2006 and earned two Pro Bowl berths while setting franchise standards for sacks (53) and forced fumbles (11) before signing a $100 million contract with the Bills (3-5) during the offseason. Williams was booed lustily on those occasions his name was announced Sunday, but, excluding his lone sack, Williams was held in relative check by second-year tackle Derek Newton. Williams posted a team-leading seven tackles, including two for losses. "Like I said, I was looking to get one. I couldn't just come in here and not," Williams said of his sack. "I had to at least somehow, someway get that. I wish it had been more." Despite ranking 31st in total defense, the Bills mustered an inspired performance. The Texans didn't settle the outcome until Schaub found Garrett Graham for a five-yard touchdown pass with 11:25 remaining in the fourth quarter, capping a methodical 11-play, 68-yard drive that chewed 6:30 off the clock. That march was the only drive of significant time consumption for the erratic Texans, whose running game sputtered just enough to keep the Bills in contention. However, as has become their custom under defensive coordinator (and former Bills coach) Wade Phillips, the Texans' defense proved to be up to the challenge by stifling a surprisingly resilient Bills offense. The Texans sacked Ryan Fitzpatrick only three times and forced just one turnover, but when the Bills threatened in the red zone, the Texans stiffened, allowing three relatively short field goals (22, 38 and 39 yards), excluding a 37-yard errant attempt by Rian Lindell. "The story for us was just our inability to score touchdowns," Fitzpatrick said. "Something this team over the last few years has been good at is converting those drives into seven points, not three. To me that's where our issue was today: not being able to get the seven points, driving it down the field and doing different things and not being able to convert." Said Phillips: "Those are big plays in the red zone that can change the course of the game. We get 21 (points) and they get nine. Both teams were down there three times." Despite their struggles, the Texans managed some individual offensive benchmarks, with running back Arian Foster rushing for 111 yards and a touchdown and receiver Andre Johnson posting his 40th career 100-yard receiving game (eight receptions for 118 yards). Notes: The Texans entered play on Sunday leading the NFL in time of possession at 35:23, having won the possession battle in all seven games. Against the Bills the Texans possessed the ball for 34:03. ... With his 22-yard run in the final minute of the second quarter, Bills running back C.J. Spiller became the first Texans opponent to record a run of 20-plus yards this season. ... Texans defensive end J.J. Watt became the 11th player in NFL history to produce double-digit totals in sacks and passes defensed in the same season. Watt sacked Fitzpatrick with nine seconds left in the second quarter to bump his total to 10.5 this season. He has 10 passes defensed this season.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Vlade Divac indicates DeMarcus Cousins’ agents killed other deal

Report: Julius Thomas traded to Dolphins

Joe Mixon likely to go undrafted in April?

Belichick officially updates boat’s name to ‘VII Rings’

Canseco warns humanity about robot takeover in Twitter rant

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rick Ankiel drank vodka before pitching in 2000 NLDS

Kings throw shade at Cousins in press release announcing trade

Report: Jets tampered with Revis through private phones, secret meetings

Calipari shoots down talk of him leaving Kentucky for Pelicans

Report: Carmelo prefers trade to Clippers or Lakers

Report: Kings blowing up roster, putting Darren Collison, Ben McLemore on block

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher with 200 or more wins since 1961

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker