Buffalo Bills vs Houston Texans: Wild Card Game Preview

Texans JJ Watt is set to make his return Saturday in an AFC Wild Card game against the Buffalo Bills.
Photo Credit Angel Rick Leal

By Angel Rick Leal

Game Info
Buffalo Bills vs Houston Texans
Saturday January 4 – 3:35 p.m.
TV: ESPN, ABC
NRG Stadium – Houston, Texas

Records Before Game
Buffalo Bills (10-6)
Houston Texans (10-6)

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt will make his return from a torn pectoral muscle Saturday against the Buffalo Bills. The Texans added Watt to the active roster after he missed eight games on injured reserve. He suffered a torn pectoral muscle Oct. 27 against the Oakland Raiders. The Texans are also hoping to get wide receiver Will Fuller back on the field. Fuller left Houston’s Week 16 game with a groin injury and did not play in the Texans’ regular-season finale against the Tennessee Titans. The 2016 first-round pick has 49 catches for 670 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games this season, although 217 yards and all three scores were against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 5. Fuller also missed four games earlier in the season with a hamstring injury.  

The Buffalo Bills listed four players as questionable for their wild-card playoff game against the Houston Texans on Saturday. The injury list includes cornerback Levi Wallace (ankle), defensive end Shaq Lawson (hamstring), offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe (ankle) and wide receiver Andre Roberts (foot). The team said all four were limited participants in a light practice, without helmets, Thursday. Wallace injured an ankle against the New York Jets when he made a first-quarter interception. Nsekhe, who missed time with an injured ankle suffered in Week 11, reinjured the ankle against the Jets. Lawson and Roberts did not play in the regular season finale.

The last time the Buffalo Bills were in Houston, the Bills let a 13-10 fourth quarter lead slip away in their last visit in 2018. They lost 20-13 on a Jonathan Joseph interception return for a touchdown with 1:23 to play.  It was a difficult end to a day that saw Bills backup Nathan Peterman throw two interceptions in the final minute and a half. He was in for Josh Allen, who was making his fifth NFL start, and suffered an elbow injury. Allen missed the next four games for the Bills, and they lost three of them. Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson didn’t fare much better. He was sacked seven times and hit a total of 12 times. He threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.

Prediction
Buffalo got some key guys hurt last week in a meaningless game. J.J. Watt is coming back for Houston and I think the Bills will struggle to score. Deshaun Watson will have a decent game if Will Fuller is able to play which will also lead to DeAndre Hopkins being open more, Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson will do some damage on the ground and the Texans will win.

Final Score
Houston Texans – 24
Buffalo Bills – 21