- Matt Williamson, ESPN.com
After watching the Week 8 matchups, Scouts Inc. shares its 10 key observations:
1. The Texans showed great resilience: Not everything went as planned for the Texans in Buffalo. It looked bleak early on. QB Matt Schaub was somewhat erratic and losing TE Owen Daniels early in the game could have been devastating. But the Texans kept coming and in Daniels' stead, 10 players caught a pass from Schaub. Gary Kubiak took the ball out of RB Steve Slaton's hands because of ineffectiveness and Ryan Moats made the most of his opportunity. This defense also has come a very long way from early in the season and from previous seasons. In previous years, this is exactly the type of game that Houston would have lost. Times are changing for the Texans, but overcoming the loss of Daniels for the season will not be easy.
2. The Bills have found a ball hawk in Byrd: What Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd is doing is really remarkable. After his first game or two, you thought it might be only a fluke, but he is making plays on the ball at an unbelievable rate. The rookie now leads the NFL in interceptions. Byrd is an instinctual player who was brought up around the game, but he was a cornerback in college. As a prospect, he had very good size for the corner spot and was very productive, but lacked the flat-out speed and quick hip turn for the position. Buffalo wisely saw him as a free safety. Now, the Bills have a supreme ball hawk in the deep middle or deep half of their secondary. A dramatically improved pass rush also has helped the Bills' secondary, but that isn't to take away from what Byrd is doing.
Scouts Inc. examines how the Texans overcame adversity, Eli Manning's struggles and more.