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Bills have playoff life with big win over Texans


Location:Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, NY

Overall records:Buffalo (6-6), Houston (6-6)


In a Nutshell: **The Bills needed a win in the worst way and their offense carried them in the first half followed by a big defensive effort in the second half to lift Buffalo to a 30-21 victory to keep their AFC playoff hopes alive.

With the win Buffalo pulled even with Houston as both teams now sit at 6-6, with the Bills earning the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Tied at 21 at the two-minute warning, Tyrod Taylor found a wide open Charles Clay down the seam with 1:53 remaining and he waltzed into the end zone for a 40-yard touchdown to put Buffalo ahead for good.

Dan Carpenter put a 36-yard field goal attempt up and through with 33 seconds remaining to put the game on ice.

Buffalo's offense played one of their best first halves of the season on offense as their run game was in full gear, which staked them to an eight-point lead. Unfortunately the Bills offense struggled when they came out of the locker room, and Houston was eventually able to pull even early in the fourth quarter on a DeAndre Hopkins touchdown catch and Jonathan Grimes two-point conversion.

The Bills defense had the Houston offense stymied for most of the second half forcing six punts and a turnover on downs on eight possessions over the final two quarters. Their only points surrendered was the Hopkins touchdown.


How it went down: **--The Bills got on the board first with an efficient seven-play 53-yard drive on their first possession. Sammy Watkins capped the drive with a three-yard touchdown catch just over five minutes into the game.

--Houston put together a touchdown drive on the ensuing possession with Ryan Griffin left wide open for an eight-yard score on a late substitution by the Bills defense. But K Nick Novak missed the extra point to leave Buffalo ahead 7-6.

--Buffalo scored on a second straight possession as they continued to rely on their ground game. Tyrod Taylor finished it off with an eight-yard run on a read option keeper, reaching the left pylon with the ball as he went out of bounds (14-6) just seven seconds into the second quarter.

--The Texans pulled to within a point a second time when Chris Polk came out of the backfield to make a difficult 11-yard catch and run as he broke a pair of tackles to reach the end zone (14-13).

--Robert Woods put Buffalo ahead by eight when he pulled in a well-placed throw by Tyrod Taylor for a two-yard touchdown catch with 30 seconds left in the first half (21-13).

--After a scoreless third quarter Houston tied the game with DeAndre Hopkins pulling in a 19-yard touchdown and then RB Jonathan Grimes converting on the two-point conversion attempt (21-21) with just over nine minutes remaining.

--Tyrod Taylor found a wide open Charles Clay down the seam for the go-ahead touchdown with 1:53 left in the game (27-21).

--Dan Carpenter kicked a 36-yard field goal with under a minute to play after Buffalo's defense forced a turnover on downs.


Subplots: **LeSean McCoy went over 7,500 yards rushing in his career in the first quarter becoming the sixth active running back to reach the 7,500-yard plateau.

Buffalo's ground game got off to a great start rolling up 134 yards in the first half as they averaged 7.1 yards per carry.

In the first half against the Texans number-one ranked third down defense converted six of seven third downs (86%)

CB Stephon Gilmore left the game with a shoulder injury in the second half and did not return.

LB Tony Steward suffered a back injury in the first half in his first NFL start and did not return to the game.

K Dan Carpenter missed a 50-yard field goal off the left upright and missed an extra point attempt following the game-winning touchdown off the left upright. He did hit a 36-yard field goal to close out the game.

Inactives:QB Josh Johnson, G John Miller, LB Nigel Bradham, RB Karlos Williams, CB Mario Butler, OT Seantrel Henderson, DE Lavar Edwards.

Up next:The Bills hit the road again for a game against the Eagles in Philadelphia for a 1 pm kickoff Sunday.

Week 13: Bills vs. Texans

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