Nov 29, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans running back Chris Polk (22) rushes during a game against the New Orleans Saints at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Game: Houston Texans (6-5) at Buffalo Bills (5-6)
Prediction: Buffalo is an enigmatic team. Seeing them push the Patriots to the brink in Foxborough is one of those moments that make you think this team is really good and a surefire playoff contender. But they’ve had some other disappointing performances that have landed them in the spot they are currently in at 5-6 and on the outside looking in on the wild card. For instance the second half in Kansas City last week. I’m not sure how they just went from being in control to losing that one in the second half. This is a game that they really need.
I’m curious to see how the weather affects this game. Buffalo has a great running game, so they will be better suited to slug it out if the air attack is slowed. While the Texans ground defense has gotten much better in recent weeks, I am still a tad skeptical of how they will fare against a very good run defense. Are the Bills the team to break the dam? Also with Sammy Watkins on the outside, he will give the Texans secondary a lot to think about.
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For the Texans, should the weather be bad, they will have to find new ways to get DeAndre Hopkins the ball. Stephon Gilmore is a very good young corner and will follow him most of the game. I don’t expect him to have a big game in this one. It will fall on the other guys to make up the slack. Nate Washington and Ryan Griffin need to make some plays as well.
Defensively, the Texans have the edge over the Bills offense. J.J. Watt, who is used to the cold from his days in Wisconsin, has been unstoppable lately and they might have to double team him all game. Vince Wilfork has played in Buffalo plenty of times going back to his days in New England so he’ll be familiar with the surroundings. They are going to have to keep the blockers off the linebackers and allow them to track down Shady McCoy.
This is a real toss up game. As cliche as this statement is, it is true for this game–the team that wins in the trenches will win. I lean slightly toward the more desperate team, which is the home team. I’ll see if the pessimism continues to bring the luck.
Final score: Buffalo Bills 16, Houston Texans 13
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