The AFC Wild Card Schedule for Saturday, January 4th, is as follows:
(10-6) Buffalo Bills at the (10-6) Houston Texans. 4:35 PM, ESPN and ABC.
(9-7) Tennessee Titans at the (12-4) New England Patriots. 8:15 PM, CBS.
Bills vs. Texans:
The Buffalo Bills are a very well coached team. Over his past 6 games, Josh Allen has 10 Touchdown passes and only 2 interceptions. He has cut his turnovers down and is making better decisions with the football. He has taken a step forward from his rookie year. His completion percentage has improved, but, 58% is still below average. Cole Beasley and Josh Brown have combined for 139 catches and 12 touchdowns.
Defensively, the Bills are an elite unit. They are ranked 3rd, only giving up 298.3 yards per game and 2nd in points against. Offenses are only scoring 16.2 points per contest.
The Texans start and stop with their talented quarterback Deshaun Watson. The former Clemson star, completed 67.3% of his passes, had 34 total touchdowns and 12 interceptions. DeAndre Hopkins had 104 catches and 7 touchdowns. He continues to be one of the best WR in the game.
The Texans defense has been terrible all season long. They are ranked 28th, giving up 388.3 yards per game.
Buffalo’s coaching staff is superior and they could be the better all-around team but Watson will find a way to lead his team to victory.
Houston 23 Buffalo 20
Titans vs. Patriots:
This Patriots offense has struggle the 2nd half of the season. Tom Brady has a passer rating of 88%. That is ranked 19th amongst NFL quarterbacks. Sony Michel rushed for over 900 yards but only averaged 3.7 yards per carry. Julian Eldelman continues to be Brady’s security blanket. He had 100 catches on the season.
This could be the best defensive team Bill Belichick has ever had. They were first in almost every category and are only giving up 14.1 points per game.
The Titans have the formula to beat the Patriots. Derrick Henry led the NFL in rushing with 1,540 yards. His running style wears teams down in the 2nd half. Over the past 7 games, Tennessee is averaging over 6 yards per play. That is first in the NFL during that time period. A.J. Brown caught 52 passes for over 1000 yards and averages 20 yards per catch.
Defensively, the Titans are bend but don’t break. They give up 359 yards per game but only 20.7 points per contest.
Despite their 12-4 record the Patriots are a “wounded animal”. The Titans should run Henry early and often and use the play action against New England’s aggressive defense. Ryan Tannehill should have big passing plays in the 2nd half. Most NFL experts are taking the Patriots. I am going against the grain here.
Take the Titans in an upset.