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19
AFC Wild Card Playoff Game
Final 1 2 3 4 OT Tot
Buffalo 7 6 3 3 0 19
Houston 0 0 8 11 3 22
22
1:35 PM PT2:35 PM MT3:35 PM CT4:35 PM ET21:35 GMT5:35 2:35 PM MST4:35 PM EST3:35 PM CT1:35 UAE (+1)16:35 ET19:35 , January 4, 2020
NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas  Attendance: 71,699

Bills-Texans Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans

  1. This will be the first game between these two teams since a 20-13 Texans win in Houston in 2018, as Houston held Josh Allen to just 84 passing yards. The Texans have won each of the last three home games against the Bills, holding them to 13.0 points per game
  2. The Bills are looking for their first playoff win since 1999 after reaching 10 wins for the first time since that same 1999 season. Buffalo held opponents to just 16.2 points per game this season, the fifth-best mark in franchise history and best since 1999 (14.3).
  3. The Texans won the AFC South and a playoff berth for the fourth time in five years, with the only exception being 2017 with Deshaun Watson injured. Each of Houston's last five playoff games have been decided by 13 points or more (1-4 record).
  4. Josh Allen had nine of Buffalo's 13 rushing touchdowns this season, the third-highest percentage by a QB in NFL history. Allen threw five touchdowns and seven interceptions over the first five games of the season but has thrown 15 TDs and just two INT since Week 7, the third-best TD-to-INT ratio in the NFL.
  5. Deshaun Watson is the first player in NFL history with at least 25 passing touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns in back-to-back seasons. He will become the only QB in Texans history to start in two different postseasons -- Houston has had a different starting QB for each of their five playoff trips.
  6. The Texans went 5-1 in their first six home games this season but have dropped the last two, allowing a combined 73 points to the Broncos and Titans. The Bills went 6-2 on the road, winning the turnover battle, 12-7, and holding opponents to 15.6 points per game, second best in the NFL (Patriots, 13.1).
Team Comparison

Buffalo
 
Houston
19.6 Points 23.6
217.3 Pass Yds 255.2
128.4 Rush Yds 125.6
23 Takeaways 22
(AP Photo/David Dermer, File)

HOUSTON (AP) J.J. Watt was a rookie in the 2011 playoffs when his spectacular performance against the Cincinnati Bengals led the Houston Texans to the first postseason win in franchise history.

The spotlight will be on Watt again on Saturday, when he'll return to the field a little more than two months after surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle when the Texans host the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the playoffs.

Watt had a good first season in the NFL but was relatively unknown nationally when he made his playoff debut against Cincinnati. The game was tied at 10-all in the second quarter when Watt tipped a pass from Andy Dalton and grabbed it for an interception, which he returned 29 yards for a touchdown to put Houston on top for good. The defensive end also had four tackles, a sack and a quarterback hit in the 31-10 victory.

Watt recalled that game this week and said the energy and atmosphere in the stadium that day was incredible.

"As a guy who's been here for nine years, that feeling is what I want to capture and magnify," he said. "I feel like, not that we haven't had that (since), but there was something magical about that and I want to create that magic again. The only way to do that is by winning. There's no special sauce. You just have to win."

After sitting out since October, it's unclear how much impact Watt will have on the game. But coach Bill O'Brien said Thursday that Watt would play "quite a bit," which should help a pass rush that ranked 26th in the NFL with just 31 sacks.

Watt and the Texans will face an offense led by Josh Allen, who will make his playoff debut after finishing the regular season with 3,089 yards passing with 20 touchdowns and 510 yards rushing and nine more scores.

"(It's) still the game of football, the dimensions are the same, we have the same plays that we've had in all year," Allen said. "We're not trying to do anything different ... we got to go out there and execute."

24 YEARS AND WAITING

The Bills have lost five straight playoff games since a 37-22 win over Miami in a wild-card game on Dec. 30, 1995. The Jim Kelly-led team followed with a 40-21 loss at Pittsburgh the next week.

Buffalo's playoff-victory drought is the third longest active streak in the NFL.

The Cincinnati Bengals haven't won a playoff game since January 1991. The Detroit Lions have the second-longest streak, with their last win coming in January 1992.

Members of Buffalo's 1990 teams, who made and lost four consecutive Super Bowl appearances, are rooting for the Bills to finally break the streak.

"We're all about these guys. We love them. We think they're great," former Bills receiver and special teams star Steve Tasker said, noting he was speaking for numerous teammates. "The culture and feel around the building reminds us of us."

WATSON'S OPPORTUNITY

Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson is looking for his first playoff win after struggling in his playoff debut last season, a 21-7 loss to the Colts.

"We earned this opportunity and it's real dope," he said. "No one in our locker room wants it to end and we'll continue to keep working and keep fighting forward to try to improve and get to the next week."

Though Watson is only in his third season, he's the undisputed leader of the offense and has worked this week to make sure his teammates are focused. Running back Carlos Hyde said Watson sent a group text to the players on offense with the simple message of "let's be great."

HELLO AGAIN, HOUSTON

Bills cornerback Kevin Johnson and rookie defensive tackle Ed Oliver have ties to Houston. Johnson spent his first four seasons with the Texans after being selected with the 16th pick in the 2015 draft. Oliver, Buffalo's first-round pick, grew up and spent his three-year college career at Houston.

Oliver shrugged off questions about his homecoming, saying, "The most exciting part besides playing Houston is (it's) my first playoff game."

He's treating it like any other road game despite having family and friends in the stands.

"Doesn't matter where we play," Oliver said. "My fans and people can't come down on the field and help me play."

As for Johnson, the backup has the chance to get additional playing time with starter Levi Wallace's status uncertain due to an injured right ankle.

Johnson said he's focused on the outcome and not holding a grudge against the team that cut him last offseason.

"It's a good opportunity and the goal is to win the game," he said. "That's what my focus is."

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AP Sports Writer John Wawrow contributed to this report.

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Updated January 2, 2020

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