Creativity has been a recurring theme to describe the Texans offense over the past few weeks. The wildcat formations, direct snaps, and all the other wrinkles in the offensive scheme are designed to catch defenses off guard.
It's also creating more homework for opposing head coaches.
"It takes away preparation time," Bills head coach Rex Ryan said Wednesday. "You don't know if they are going to run that stuff once or you don't know if they are going to run it 50 times so you have to be prepared."
Brian Hoyer, who returned last Sunday against the Saints after suffering a concussion in Cincinnati, agrees.
When Hoyer was inactive in Week 11, Cecil Shorts III had a 21-yard touchdown pass to Alfred Blue that gave Houston a 17-10 lead over the Jets in the fourth quarter. Hoyer likes the complexity of the play-calling for its effectiveness.
"It's been great, I think," Hoyer said. "It's definitely working for us and, if anything, the defense has to prepare for it, especially when you got two different guys you can put back there with Cecil and (Jonathan) Grimes. For me, it's all about what it takes to win the game and for us it's been helpful, it has got us a few first downs and it's another thing to add on the defensive plate when they are preparing for us."
O'Brien will continue to add to his bag of tricks this week. Ryan's defenses have also been known to add their own wrinkles. In fact, "creative" is the same word the Texans head coach uses to describe Rex Ryan and his schemes.
"Yeah, they've been hitting quarterbacks for a long time with Coach Ryan's defense," O'Brien said. "They're a really good defense. Every game is different, very creative. You have to understand that you're going to see something in this game, or some things in this game that you haven't seen on film and you have to be prepared for that in the fact that you have to let your rules take precedent there. Make sure that the guys understand the communication and how we want to block the different fronts and looks that they're going to give us. It's a very challenging defense to get ready for."
The (6-5) Texans will travel to (5-6) Buffalo in Week 13. Kickoff is set for noon CT on CBS KHOU-11 and SportsRadio 610.