Houston Texans (4-3) vs. Buffalo Bills (3-4)
Sunday, November 1st, 12:00 CST
Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, New York
Kickoff temperature: 47 degrees, partly cloudy
Line: Texans by 3.5
Trends: Texans have won two in a row and three of their last four games; Bills have won two straight.
Three most important things for the Texans on defense:
1. Don't allow the big play. The Bills offense has been pretty pedestrian, averaging just over 11 points per game over their last five. Still, Buffalo has Lee Evans and T.O. on the outside and they can score on any given play.
2. Keep Fitzpatrick in the pocket. Although he doesn't look overly athletic, Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick can throw well on the run and can scramble to make yards.
3. Keep the run-stopping momentum going. The Texans have done a great job of stopping the run over the last month, and they will face a Pro Bowl back in Marshawn Lynch this Sunday. Houston needs to continue their fine play on defense.
Three most important things for the Texans on offense:
1. Run Slaton. The Bills have done a terrible job of stopping the run this year, and Texans running back Steve Slaton should have somewhat of a chip on his shoulder as Buffalo's Marshawn Lynch potentially took his Pro Bowl spot a year ago with much lesser statistics. Slaton should run hard and run well as long as he holds on to the football.
2. Spread it around. The Texans have plenty of weapons and Matt Schaub needs to spread the ball around as there should be plenty of open guys.
3. Score touchdowns in the red zone. Houston has done a better job of this in '09, and they need to execute again to avoid the upset on the road.
What to look for:
1. Look for Steve Slaton to go over the century mark. A motivated Slaton plus a poor Bills rushing defense should equal a big day.
2. Look for T.O. to score. Owens is having a rough year, but he matches up favorably against the Texans secondary.
3. Look for Matt Schaub to throw for less than his average of nearly 300 yards per game. The Texans should control this game and lean more on the running game.
4. Look for a score for Andre. Johnson is banged up, but just when you think he'll have a bad game he surprises you.
5. Look for the Texans to improve to 5-3. Buffalo doesn't have the firepower to keep up with a surging Texans team.
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