Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans
Buffalo Bills Preview
The Buffalo Bills have answered a 17-season playoff drought by punching their postseason ticket for the second time in three campaigns under coach Sean McDermott. The fifth-seeded Bills (10-6) will look for a longer stay this time when they visit the AFC South champion Houston Texans (10-6) in a wild-card clash on Saturday. Rugged Josh Allen isn’t afraid to lower his shoulder for an offense that ranks 24th in yards per game (330.2) and 23rd in points scored per game (19.6), and the 23-year-old could find some room to run versus the 25th-ranked Texans’ rush defense (121.1-yard average).
Allen, however, admitted to a case of early-game jitters in Buffalo’s 24-17 loss at New England on Dec. 21, and now the stakes will be significantly higher as he attempts to become the first Bills quarterback to win a playoff game since Hall of Famer Jim Kelly on Dec. 30, 1995.
Houston Texans Preview
The AFC South champion Houston Texans (10-6) will welcome back one of the faces of the franchise on Saturday as star defensive end J.J. Watt joins his mates in the wild-card game against the visiting Buffalo Bills (10-6). The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year was activated from injured reserve on Tuesday following an eight-game absence caused by a torn pectoral muscle. Quarterback Deshaun Watson has formed a solid bond with All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins, but his trusted wideout likely will draw coverage from Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White.
Texans wide receiver Will Fuller V was limited in practice on Tuesday as he works his way back from a groin injury that kept him out last week. Still, it’s a positive sign given the Texans boast an 8-3 record in games that Fuller has played this season — as opposed to 2-3 when he’s been out due to injury.