ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — J.J. Watt couldn’t catch Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor. And the entire Houston Texans defense forgot to cover tight end Charles Clay.
Taylor hit a wide-open Clay streaking over the middle for a 40-yard touchdown with 1:53 remaining in a 30-21 win Sunday.
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Taylor passed for three touchdowns and also scored on an 8-yard run in picking apart a Watt-led defense that had allowed just two touchdowns and 35 points in its previous four games combined.
Watt was held without a sack and was credited with just four tackles.
The Bills (6-6) snapped a two-game skid and gained ground in the AFC playoff hunt by ending the Texans’ four-game winning streak. Houston, which entered the day tied with Indianapolis for the AFC South lead, dropped to 6-6.
Taylor sealed the win after Buffalo’s offense sputtered through most of the second half.
Facing second-and-7, Taylor had time in the pocket and found Clay running all alone over the middle. Clay caught the pass in stride inside the 10 and waltzed into the end zone.
The Texans had no response in a game they never led.
Brian Hoyer finished 26 of 44 for 293 yards with three touchdowns but was unable to deliver in the clutch. Hoyer threw four consecutive incompletions on the Texans’ drive after Clay’s touchdown.
The Bills took over and Dan Carpenter secured the win with a 36-yard field goal with 33 seconds remaining. Carpenter otherwise struggled, missing a 50-yard field goal attempt and an extra point.
LeSean McCoy had 112 yards rushing. Sammy Watkins had 109 yards receiving and a touchdown.
Taylor, a first-time starter, extended his streak to 187 attempts without an interception and broke the franchise record of 175 that was set by Drew Bledsoe in 2002. He has now combined for 15 touchdowns — including two rushing — with one interception and one last fumble in his past eight starts.
Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins had five catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Ryan Griffin scored on an 8-yard catch, and Chris Polk scored on an 11-yard reception.
Injuries became a concern for Buffalo when starting cornerback Stephon Gilmore did not return after hurting his shoulder in the third quarter. McCoy missed one series before being cleared to return after being examined for a concussion.
The Bills’ effective running game combined with the use of misdirection helped keep Houston’s defense on its heels throughout the first half.
Texans rookie cornerback Kevin Johnson had a tough outing. He was beaten on both of Buffalo’s touchdowns in the half. And he also allowed Watkins to get by him in making a 53-yard catch on a deep post pattern on the first play of Buffalo’s fourth possession.
Taylor capped that drive by hitting Woods in the right corner of the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown. Woods was open by beating Johnson off the line in one-on-one coverage.