The Houston Texans come off of the bye week with a relatively easy opponent in the Buffalo Bills. They remain the top team in the AFC with a one game lead over the Baltimore Ravens who also had their bye last week and hold a two game lead over the Indianapolis Colts in the division.
The offense should have a relatively easy time against a defense that has given up 48 points to the Jets, 52 points to the Patriots and 45 points to the 49ers. They need to prove that they can play teams at the same level each week and not just play to the level of the competition and a dominating win here could prove that.
Matt Schaub has played like a champion this year and if he can continue to manage the team like this he could easily attain the first Super Bowl in the history of Houston. He faces a supposedly tough pass rush this week however, with former Texans superstar Mario Williams.
The offensive line has played pretty well this year but in order to get a win on Sunday they need to prevent Williams and the remainder of the Bills defense from getting to Schaub. The Texans have one of the most quarterback-friendly offenses in the league due to the fact that they get them out of the pocket on bootlegs or else use short drops, but in order for that to be an efficient option we need the running game to get going early and often.
Ben Tate won’t be playing on Sunday but with Foster and Justin Forsett the Texans still have a pretty good rushing offense and should be especially effective against the worst run defense in the league. Those numbers may be skewed for the mere fact that the Bills often are obliterated and thus teams can run the ball against them late, but Chris Johnson and Jamal Charles both put up ridiculous numbers against them in close games.
Foster has a rushing touchdown in every game this season and there is no reason to think that this week will be any less productive. If the Texans are able to get the running game going early they should be able to come away with a win.
The Bills are in the bottom third in passing defense and the Texans have been able to spread the ball around the field pretty successfully this year. I look for a big game from both Andre Johnson and the tight ends. Andre has finally looked like the Andre of old as opposed to Andre the Old, and there is no reason to think that he won’t put up good numbers against such a poor defense.
Owen Daniels has led the tight ends this year and is well on his way to the Pro Bowl, I look for him to put up pretty good numbers against a defense like this and draw national attention.
The offensive line bounced back from a pretty poor performance against the Packers and hopefully will prove that that game was an outlier for the remainder of the year. They will have to start by proving that the Texans made the correct choice in not extending Mario Williams to the ridiculous contract he got in Buffalo by holding him without a sack.
It will be interesting to see who will get the start between Antoine Caldwell and Ben Jones considering how well Jones played last week in his first career start, but hopefully that will be the only newsworthy thing to come from the offensive line.
My Prediction: Texans over Bills 38-13