HOU-BUF Grades: Taylor, McCoy wear down Texans

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Bills’ 30-21 win over the Texans.

| 11 months ago
(AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)

(AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)

HOU-BUF Grades: Taylor, McCoy wear down Texans

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Bills’ 30-21 win over the Texans.

Houston Texans

– On the stat sheet, you will see just one hurry for DE J.J. Watt (+5.0), the first time he’s been held without a sack or hit since Week 9 of his rookie year. But that isn’t entirely the case. Watt did come up with a third down sack mid-way through the fourth quarter only to have the play nullified by offsetting holding calls. He also picked up another hurry later in the quarter, but caused a holding penalty by the offensive line which nullified that pressure as well.
For the majority of the game, Buffalo called run plays away from Watt and often kept him double teamed. But in the few times they did run near him, he still caused a lot of disruption, even if he wasn’t the player to make the tackle. Still, he had a tackle for loss on Buffalo’s first drive of the game, and was in on a couple other tackles on short runs.

– It was not the best day for the Texans up front when it came to run blocking, and Brandon Brooks’ absence probably did not help. Three of Houston’s five offensive linemen earned ‘red’ run block grades worse than -1.0, with RG Oday Aboushi earning the lowest at -3.0. TE C.J. Fiedorowicz also struggled, earning a -1.7 run block grade. HB Chris Polk did the best he could with what he had to work with, earning a +1.6 run grade as he picked up over half of his 61 yards after contact.

– FS Andre Hal was the lone defender in the Texans’ secondary to earn an above average grade at +1.4. Hall allowed just one catch for six yards on his 27 snaps in coverage. His biggest play was a pass defense on a slant late in the game that could potentially have been intercepted and returned well into Buffalo territory, but it went off his hands and instead forced a punt. Rookie CB Kevin Johnson had 20 snaps in coverage and allowed two touchdown catches on give targets.

Top performers:

DE J.J. Watt (+5.0)
OLB Whitney Mercilus (+3.4)
NT Vince Wilfork (+2.8)
HB Chris Polk (+2.1)
C Ben Jones (+1.9)

Buffalo Bills

– QB Tyrod Taylor (+0.7) completed just 11 passes in the game but three went for scores. He did have a few poor throws, including a bad misread on the aforementioned slant pass to TE Charles Clay late in a tied game that could have easily been intercepted and returned deep into Buffalo territory.
The Texans blitzed Taylor just seven times on 24 dropbacks. He completed just one pass for 17 yards and had a -2.8 pass grade on those seven plays. On the 17 dropbacks Taylor was not blitzed, he completed 10 of 14 with three touchdowns and a +2.5 pass grade.

–WR Sammy Watkins put together back-to-back great games for the first time since last season. He caught three passes for 109 yards and a touchdown and had the second-highest yards per route run among wide receivers this week at 4.54. In addition, Watkins had a nice 21-yard reception for a first down called back due to a holding penalty in the third quarter. He also added a nice block on Jonathan Joseph down the field on a big LeSean McCoy run late in the game.

– LG Richie Incognito was an important signing for the Bills this offseason and he continues to impress. For the fifth time this season he did not allow a pressure in pass protection. His +1.2 run block grade was his eighth above-average run block game of the season. His +29.6 overall grade ranks second among all guards, behind only Marshal Yanda, and ranks first among left guards.

Top performers:

WR Sammy Watkins (+3.6)
LG Richie Incognito (+3.0)
TE Charles Clay (+2.3)
HB LeSean McCoy (+1.9)
FS Bacarri Rambo (+1.8)

| Analyst

Matt has been an analyst for PFF since 2013. He is also a contributor to 120 Sports and a former NCAA Division-III football player.

  • Thomas W

    Would never have guessed this was a +5.0 game for Watt. Not that it wasn’t positive, but that’s huge.

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  • JudoPrince

    I watched a pretty good amount of this game. Although Watt hustled on every play it seemed, he simply was not much of a factor. The +5.0 looks way over the top and it appears as if PFF is making a stretch when it comes to grading out his play.

  • bob barker

    I’m sorry, but there’s no way Watt deserves a +5.0 unless he’s earning tenths of points for simply drawing double teams. He was disruptive on a handful of occasions, but overall was nullified in this game. Not saying he doesn’t deserve a positive grade, but +5.0 wreaks of bias.

    • Jonathan Seidman

      umm, of course being doubled teamed should be factored-in.


      that’s as, if not more, valuable as doing damage being single-covered, because it frees up other people to make plays.

      once again, duh.

  • Tim Edell

    I love PFF and respect their grading system and everything they do. However, after watching this game I could not help but think if you didnt know that that was Watt no way in hell would that of been graded plus 5.