The new year and new decade has arrived and so has the NFL playoffs. The first game of the decade kicks off between the Buffalo Bills and the Houston Texans. This is a new season. Go big or go home. This will be the Bills’ second playoff game this millennium. Their first trip to the playoffs happened in 2018 where the Bills battled a heavily favored defensive game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and fell short 10-3.
The Bills head into Houston to face a scary offense and miserable-looking defense. This is the first playoff game for a couple of these Bills’ players, including Josh Allen. Prepare to see this game come down to the Texans offense, led by Deshaun Watson trying to outplay this Bills defense who will have a lockdown corner in Tre’Davious White locking up star receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
The key matchups to observe throughout the game:
1.) White vs Hopkins
You have a lockdown defender going up against one of the best receivers in the league. Hopkins rarely drops the ball and White did not allow one touchdown during the regular season. With Will Fuller being ruled out, Hopkins is the definite main target and that could be either a great or bad day for White.
If White takes Hopkins away from Watson, Watson will have to utilize his other weapons around him. It’s not to say that his other receivers cannot do damage, but not anywhere near Hopkins.
2.) Bills O-Line vs Texans D-Line
Which Bills offensive line shows up today? The revamped line has been a little inconsistent throughout the season. This Texans defense gets J.J. Watt back from injury which upgrades their pass rush. Winning this game means the Bills have to win in the trenches.
3.) Coaching Staff vs Coaching Staff
Both Sean McDermott and Bill O’Brien will be put in situational moments that are stressful. A call that they make could make or break their team’s game. Time management is crucial, making the right calls, being observant and knowing when to manage the game will determine who wins this game. Both coaches are safe in their organization, but both are looking to prove that they are more than a wild card round team.
Bills fans, here we go.