AFC wild-card prediction: Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson celebrates after a victory over the Jaguars.
Houston will need quarterback Deshaun Watson to make plays outside of the pocket to overcome the Buffalo defense in their AFC wild-card game.
(Ian Walton / Associated Press)

No. 5 Buffalo Bills at No. 4 Houston Texans: 1:30 p.m. PST, ABC, ESPN

What the Bills need to do: It isn’t easy to run against the Texans, but the Bills need to stay patient and commit to it. Quarterback Josh Allen needs to make some plays with his legs. Buffalo’s offensive line and defense are significantly better than Houston’s, but the two best players on the field are Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Containing them is essential.

What the Texans need to do: Buffalo can rush the passer, so the Texans need to give Watson the time to get outside the pocket and make those off-schedule plays. That’s where he’s most dangerous. Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White will blanket Hopkins, but can only cover him for so long before the Texans star gets loose.

Sam Farmer’s pick: The Texans are limited on defense, but does Buffalo have the offensive firepower to take advantage of that? As good as the Bills are defensively, Deshaun Watson will make some plays outside the pocket to win.


Texans 24, Bills 23