Bills (2-3) at Texans (2-3)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, NRG Stadium, Houston
Danny Sheridan’s line: Texans by 9
Bills’ keys to victory: The wildcard team from a season ago has done a good job of producing takeaways. It was a deciding factor in Buffalo’s two wins, at Minnesota and against Tennessee. The defense, led by the play of LB Tremaine Edmunds, will need to capitalize on any chances for takeaways the Texans offense presents. QB Josh Allen has thrown only one interception in Buffalo’s two wins, but the rookie will need to heighten his pocket awareness against a formidable pass rush. The Bills also need to emphasize RB LeSean McCoy and sidekick Chris Ivory to keep Houston’s bigplay offense on the sideline.
Texans’ keys to victory: The Houston pass rush produced an AFC defensive player of the week in Week 4 (DE-OLB Jadeveon Clowney) and an AFC defensive player of the month (DE J.J. Watt). Against a rookie quarterback who leads the NFL in time to throw, Houston has the talent to transpose that extra time into hurried throws and sacks. The best trait Texans QB Deshaun Watson has is turning nothing into something. The next best trait he is developing is not trying to force it when no one is open.
Matchup to watch: Bills DE Jerry Hughes vs. Texans LT Martinas Rankin. Hughes, 30, is going against a rookie who has done his best to hold the line. Is it a young man’s game, or will experience beat youth?
Who wins? The pressure Watson will evade is not as strong as the pass rush seeking Allen, and the Houston quarterback has more productive targets.