The 3-4 Buffalo Bills have reached the midway point of their season without receiving anywhere near the production expected from their big off-season acquisition, wide receiver Terrell Owens.
Through seven games, Owens has just 18 catches and 242 yards and will have one last attempt for a breakout performance in the first half of the season when the club meets the Houston Texans[4-3] this Sunday at home.
During this week’s press conference, the former Pro-Bowler held nothing back in discussing his disappointing numbers on the campaign thus far.
“They’re pathetic to be honest,” Owens said to reporters. “I mean, definitely for myself, it’s very frustrating. I hear a lot of people saying I’ve hit the wall and I can’t play any more. I know I can play.”
But Owens also displayed some humour, taking a friendly jab at ex- teammate and current Dallas Cowboys receiver Roy Williams, who was supposed to replace Owens as the team’s go-to guy in Big D.
“My goal is to have better stats than him at the end of the season,” Owens said jokingly of Williams, who has 12 catches and 230 yards through five games.
While his receiving statistics have slipped, Owens acknowledged he can live with that frustration as long as the Bills, winners of their last two, continue their roll.
“I can feel the momentum we have on this team,” he said. “Obviously, a lot of people are saying the wins aren’t pretty. That’s the nature of good teams sometimes, just finding ways to win and we’re doing that.”
Despite less than eye popping numbers, Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has provided a solid presence under centre since taking over two games ago for the injured Trent Edwards.
He could look for Owens and the resurgent Lee Evans often against a Texans defence allowing an average of 22 points per game and six passing touchdowns against in their last three contests.
Houston’s defence may be having its share of problems but the same can’t be said for an offence that has averaged 26.6 points an outing since the club’s opening week loss against the New York Jets.
One of the main contributors to the Texans’ high scoring ways is wideout Andre Johnson. The All-Pro receiver is in the middle of another outstanding campaign, with 38 catches and a league-leading 634 yards receiving to go along with four scores.
But in the Texans’ 24-21 victory over the San Francisco 49ers last week, Johnson sustained a chest contusion. However, he guaranteed on Wednesday he will play in Sunday’s game and practiced with his teammates on Thursday.
“I’ll be out there,” Johnson said. “I don’t see why I wouldn’t [play]. They might have to cut my leg of or something to keep me from going out there.”
Notes: Edwards returned to practice Wednesday after missing last week’s 20-9 win against the Carolina Panthers. He is currently recovering from a concussion sustained in the team’s 16-13 victory against the Jets in week six.