Texans 21, Bills 9

Buffalo blows its chances in Mario Williams’s return

HOUSTON — Mario Williams handled the boos and the Houston blockers with ease.

What really ruffled the Buffalo defensive end was leaving his former home without a win.

Williams had a sack and a team-leading five tackles in his first game at Reliant Stadium since signing a $100 million contract with the Bills in the offseason, but Buffalo’s offense couldn’t get into the end zone Sunday in a 21-9 loss to the Texans.


‘‘I think the biggest thing for me is if you go out and make a play and you get booed, I know I'm in your heart,’’ he said. ‘‘That’s the most important thing. If it had been quiet then I would have felt something different. But I know you’re thinking about me.’’

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Williams talked this week about being mad that the Texans — who improved to an AFC-best 7-1 — didn’t even try to negotiate with him once free agency began.

‘‘You can say bitterness or whatever, but I was asked a question and I just gave the answer of what happened,’’ he said. ‘‘Nobody has ever wanted to come out and say it.’’

Houston’s Arian Foster ran for 111 yards and a touchdown and Andre Johnson added 118 yards receiving as the Texans used a balanced attack to continue to build on their franchise-best start.

The Bills (3-5) moved the ball effectively at times, but stalled in the red zone and had to settle for field goals.


‘‘The story of the day for us was our inability to score touchdowns,’’ said quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was 25 of 38 for 239 yards. ‘‘To me, that’s where our issue was today, not being able to get the 7 points. Driving it down the field and doing different things, and not being able to convert.’’

Buffalo was also stymied by its inability to run the ball, with C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson combining for just 60 yards on 12 carries. The Bills rushed for a season-low 78 yards.

Coach Chan Gailey knows the Bills need to get Spiller more carries. His season high is 15; against the Patriots (next Sunday’s opponent) in Week 4, Spiller had only eight carries.

‘‘We would like to try to do that on a more consistent basis,’’ Gailey said. ‘‘They take things away from you that you don’t think they’re going to do, but they did. They surprised us with a defense we hadn’t seen very much and we had to alter.’’

Williams sacked Matt Schaub for a 4-yard loss on Houston’s second drive. ‘‘I was at least going to get one,’’ Williams said. ‘‘I couldn’t just come in here and not.”


The Bills got into the red zone three times in the first half, but settled for two field goals (the other attempt was missed) to leave the Texans up, 7-6, at halftime.

The Texans pushed the lead to 14-6 with a 3-yard run by Foster early in the third quarter. That touchdown was set up by a 34-yard reception by Johnson two plays earlier.

Buffalo got to within 5 on a 39-yard field goal by Rian Lindell in the third quarter, but a 5-yard touchdown catch by Garrett Graham made it 21-9 early in the fourth.