Though only one game separates the Buffalo Bills (2-1) and the Houston Texans (1-2) in the AFC standings, Sunday’s Week 4 matchup between the Bills and the Texans pits two teams heading in opposite directions.
After suffering a disappointing loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2021 season opener, Buffalo has rebounded to win two straight by a combined score of 78-21. Quarterback Josh Allen is reverting to his NFL MVP runner-up status from last year and has the offense rounding into form following a slow start.
Allen was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the seventh time in his young career after completing 74 percent of his passes for 358 yards and five total touchdowns (four passing), while wideout Emmanuel Sanders caught five passes for 94 yards with a pair of TDs and Cole Beasley added 11 catches for 98 yards in a dominant 43-21 win over Washington in Week 3.
While the Bills are on a roll and are tied with the Denver Broncos in point differential through three weeks (+50), the same can not be said for the Houston Texans, who are onto their second quarterback after starter (and former Bill) Tyrod Taylor suffered a hamstring injury in a season-opening loss to the Cleveland Browns.
The quarterback woes extend beyond Taylor. Former Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson, who requested a trade in January, has been accused of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior in 22 active civil lawsuits and has been inactive during the first three weeks of the season.
Rookie Davis Mills gets the start for a Houston offense looking to rebound from a 24-9 defeat vs. the Carolina Panthers in Week 3 on Thursday Night Football. Mills passed for 168 yards and one touchdown and Brandin Cooks hauled in nine passes for 112 yards, but Houston managed only 42 rushing yards on 17 carries and finished with 193 yards of total offense. Carolina gashed the Texans’ defense to the tune of 28 first downs and 407 yards of total offense in the win.
Sunday’s game is the 11th all-time between the Bills and the Texans, with Houston holding onto a 6-4 lead in the series. The last time these two teams met was Jan. 4, 2020 in a Wild Card game that the Texans won 22-19 in overtime in Allen’s second season as starter. You all know what happened in that excruciating playoff setback, so I’ll spare you the painful details.
The last time the Texans came to Orchard Park, Buffalo pulled off a 30-21 victory on Dec. 6, 2015. Taylor completed 11 of 21 passes for 211 yards and three touchdowns, LeSean McCoy rushed for 112 yards on 21 carries, and Sammy Watkins hauled in three passes for 109 yards and a TD as the Bills snapped a three-game losing streak vs. the Texans.
With Buffalo currently a 17-point favorite, by far the largest spread of Week 4, and will be wearing their blue jerseys with white pants and white helmet. Here are all the ways to catch Sunday’s game from home:
Date: Sunday, October 3, 2021
Time: 1 p.m. EDT
Channel: The game will be carried on CBS on WIVB and CFTO in Buffalo, WROC in Rochester, WTVH, WKTV and WBNG in Syracuse and Utica, WBNG in Binghamton and Elmira, WENY in Elmira, WKTV, WRGB, and WCWN in Albany, WWNY in Watertown, and WSEE in Erie. View the broadcast map.
Announcers: Beth Mowins (play-by-play) and Tiki Barber (analyst).
Location: Highmark Stadium | Orchard Park, N.Y.
Radio: WGR 550 AM (Buffalo), WCMF 96.5 FM and WROC 950 AM (Rochester), Fan 590 AM (Toronto), WKRL 100.9 FM and 106.5 FM (Syracuse), and the rest of the Buffalo Bills Radio Network.
Radio Play-by-Play: John Murphy and Eric Wood with sideline reporter Sal Capaccio.
Online: NFL Game Pass, NFL.com Game Center
Twitter: Follow @BuffRumblings for complete Bills coverage on Twitter before, during, and after every game.
Facebook: Like Buffalo Rumblings on Facebook!
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Friday Injury Report
- Questionable: CB Taron Johnson (groin), DE Efe Obada (ankle).
- Ruled out: S Jordan Poyer (ankle), LG Jon Feliciano (concussion).
Houston Texans (Thursday)
- Full participant: OL Justin Britt (thigh), LB Kamu Grugler-Hill (knee).
- Limited participant: DB Terrance Mitchell (concussion/illness), DB Justin Reid (knee).
- Did not practice: WR Danny Amendola (thigh), DL Ross Blacklock (illness), RB Scottie Phillips (illness), LB Garret Wallow (illness), QB Deshaun Watson (not injury related).