The Buffalo Bills will make a trip down to Texas to take on the Houston Texans for the second consecutive season. This time is much different, however, as the Bills and Texans are meeting in the Wild Card round on the 2019 NFL Playoffs.
Houston is getting healthy, or are they?
Two of the Texans’ most talented players, Will Fuller and J.J. Watt, have missed a combined 13 games this season. Both Fuller and Watt are attempting to make a comeback for the Texans’ playoff run. Earlier this week Watt was activated for the first time since tearing a pectoral muscle in Week 8. He won’t be 100% ready to go by Saturday and it sounds like the Texans plan on keeping him on a pitch count. Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel said the Texans will “have to kind of measure to see where he is and how he’s doing, because he hasn’t played in eight games.” Fuller’s future is less clear at this time. Head coach Bill O’Brien told reporters that Fuller “is headed in a good direction”, but would not commit to Fuller being active on Saturday. Fuller was listed as a limited participant in both Tuesday and Wednesday’s practice. Both Fuller and Watt are impact players and whether and how effectively they are able to play could swing the game in either direction.
DeAndre Hopkins vs. Tre’Davious White
One huge, if not the biggest, match-up on Saturday will be Houston WR DeAndre Hopkins versus Buffalo CB Tre’Davious White. Hopkins is regarded as one of the best wide receivers and was rightfully selected to the Pro Bowl the last two seasons as an acknowledgement of that. White, a Pro Bowler this season, is one of the best corners in the league. If White is locked on Hopkins all game the winner of this individual match-up could very well win the game.
Josh Allen’s first playoff game
After an incredible four-game stretch of every game being the biggest game of Allen’s career—Thanksgiving in Dallas, home against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday Night Football in Pittsburgh with a playoff spot on the line, and on the road in New England with a chance at the division title on the line—he finally was able to relax a bit in Week 17 with a meaningless game against the New York Jets. He’ll be right back at it this week, though, as the trip to Houston for the first playoff game of his career will now be the biggest game of his life to this point. Allen’s performances in big games have been a mixed bag. His marquee performance came in his last game in Texas. Let’s hope something about the Lone Star State helps Allen perform to that level again on Saturday.