It’s early December and one more loss could seal Buffalo’s fate. In a down year in the AFC, the Buffalo Bills haven’t been able to take advantage. Sitting at 5-6, the playoffs seem like a longshot but a win over the Houston Texans would keep Buffalo alive for another week. Keeping that in mind, here are five predictions for Sunday’s Week 13 game.
Blue struggles versus Buffalo
Alfred Blue is a below-average NFL running back but he’s somehow the best option on the Texans. On Sunday, look for Buffalo to shut down Blue and make the Texans one-dimensional.
Blue had some success last week, averaging 4.8 yards per carry against the Saints defense but who hasn’t had success against New Orleans’ ‘D’ this season? In his previous three starts, Blue’s YPC averages were 2.8, 1.8, and 2.8. Don’t be surprised if Blue’s YPC average is close to this total on Sunday.
LeSean McCoy finishes with over 100 total yards
Unlike Blue, McCoy has been thriving as of late. The running back has gone over 100 total yards in the last five games and has averaged four yards or more in three of his last four games. Look for McCoy’s 100 total yards streak to continue against the Texans.
The right side of Buffalo’s offensive line is in bad shape but McCoy has been rather elusive as of late and will find a way to make some Texans miss on tackle attempts on Sunday.
Buffalo will focus on establishing the run on Sunday and McCoy will benefit by seeing 20 carries or more. Between his carries and receptions, McCoy goes over 100 yards on Sunday.
J.J. Watt records three sacks on Sunday
Watt will most likely face double teams all game but Tyrod Taylor has the tendency to hold the ball too long at times. This isn’t a good combination and I’ll take J.J. Watt over Jordan Mills and Matthew Mulligan any day of the week.
Look for Watt to give Buffalo’s blockers fits all game and sack Taylor three times on Sunday.
Jerry Hughes comes close to matching Watt
Last week, Hughes saw double-teams because Buffalo’s other linemen weren’t having much success in their one-on-one matchups. On Sunday, Hughes will see more one-on-one matchups with Mario Williams returning to the lineup. Super Mario isn’t 100 percent, and it’ll probably show on the field, but teams still need to respect him. On the other side of the field, Hughes will go against Duane Brown.
Brown has played very well this season. Pro Football Focus has credited Brown with just 11 hurries, five QB hits and three sacks in 636 snaps. That said, Hughes has had success against some terrific left tackles this season and has recorded 18 quarterback pressures in the last four games. On Sunday, Hughes registers two sacks on Brian Hoyer.
Final score prediction
The Bills haven’t had a three game losing streak this season, but it finally happens on Sunday. The defense hasn’t shown enough consistency as a unit this season and the right side of Buffalo’s offensive line could make life difficult for the Bills offense on Sunday. Although it won’t be a blowout, the Texans do just enough to defeat the Bills. Look for DeAndre Hopkins to record at least one score as Hoyer will throw the ball to the dynamic receiver regardless of the coverage. Houston stays in the playoff picture and Bills fans start thinking ahead to 2016.
Texans 20 – Bills 16