Bills force 5 turnovers, overwhelm Mills and Texans 40-0

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Sunday, October 3, 2021

Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds had the first of Buffalo's four interceptions, and the Bills suffocated the offensively inept Houston Texans in a 40-0 win on Sunday.

Micah Hyde, Tyler Matakevich and Jaquan Johnson, in his first career start, each had interceptions, while Cam Lewis forced a fumble as Buffalo overwhelmed rookie quarterback Davis Mills in his second career start.

The Bills limited Houston to 109 yards of offense - 8 in the first half - and six first downs to post their second shutout in three weeks. Buffalo, which blanked Miami 35-0 on Sept. 19, has two shutouts in a season for the first time since 1990.

Josh Allen finished 20 of 29 for 248 yards with two touchdowns - a 25-yarder and a 1-yarder, both to Dawson Knox - and an interception before giving way to backup Mitchell Trubisky with 8:03 remaining.

Tyler Bass hit all four field-goal attempts - three from inside 30 yards - in a steady rain. Buffalo led 19-0 through three quarters before Knox and Zack Moss, on a 2-yard run, blew the game open. Trubisky closed the scoring with a 4-yard TD run as Buffalo scored 40 or more points in consecutive weeks for the second time in team history, and first since 1990.

The Bills (3-1), coming off a 43-21 win over Washington, have won three straight since a season-opening loss to Pittsburgh, and are 3-1 or better through four games for the third consecutive season.

Houston (1-3) dropped its third straight, the skid coinciding with starter Tyrod Taylor being sidelined with a hamstring injury in a 31-21 loss at Cleveland in Week 2.

Mills, a third-round selection out of Stanford, was in over his head against a defense that improved to 10-0 in its past 10 meetings against quarterbacks with 16 or fewer starts.

He finished 11 of 21 for 87 yards and received little push from a Texans running attack that finished with 48 yards.

The Bills have held each of their first four opponents under 300 yards of offense. Buffalo also became the NFL's first team since the 2009 New York Jets to have two shutout wins by 35 or more points in a season.

The game turned in the opening minutes after Allen sailed his first attempt over the middle and was intercepted by Lonnie Johnson Jr., who returned it to Buffalo's 13. With Houston going for it on fourth-and-3, Mills' screen pass to David Johnson was tipped incomplete by Bills linebacker Jerry Hughes to end the Texans' best scoring threat. Houston crossed midfield just three more times on 12 drives.

Edmunds' interception came with Houston facing third-and-10 at Buffalo's 37, when Mills attempted to force a pass over the middle into double coverage.

The Texans' defense held firm through three quarters despite missing leading tackler, linebacker Zach Cunningham, and defensive tackle Ross Blacklock, who were placed on the COVID-19 list on Friday.

Buffalo settled for field goals on each of its first four trips inside Houston's 20.

The weather played a factor, especially early when Mills had the ball slip out of his hands on the third play from scrimmage. He recovered it for 9-yard loss. Allen then had difficulty gripping the ball and was picked off by Johnson Jr.


Allen's second TD pass to Knox was his 103rd career TD (passing, rushing, receiving), moving him one ahead of Jack Kemp for third on the franchise list among quarterbacks.


Ka'imi Fairbarin was limited to kickoff duty in his season debut after missing the first three weeks with a groin injury.


Texans: DL Jonathan Greenard did not return after sustaining a chest injury in the third quarter. DB Jimmy Moreland did not travel with the team Saturday after being ruled out with an illness.

Bills: Starting LB Matt Milano did not return after hurting his hamstring in the second quarter.


Texans: Host the New England Patriots next Sunday.