The Buffalo Bills (2-3) will head to NRG Stadium to take on the Houston Texans (2-3) in Week 6 (October 14, 2018 at 1:00pm EST). The Bills opened as 8.5-point underdogs.
Simply put, Buffalo’s offense has been a major problem this season. They struggle when taking to the air, averaging just 121.8 passing yards per game (32nd), and turning to the ground hasn’t returned great results either, managing just 99.4 rushing yards per game (20th).
As you may have suspected, this has led to just 12.6 PPG (32nd).
Josh Allen is not playing at the level Buffalo needs. He’s completing just 53.3% of his passes and has had trouble pushing the football down the field. Kelvin Benjamin has just eight receptions for 103 yards and one TD this season, coming on 26 targets. Outside of the targets, that’s what Benjamin used to consider a good game, not a five-game total.
If Allen cannot get the aerial attack going, you can expect similar results from the Bills’ offense. Defenses will just continue selling out to stop LeSean McCoy, who is averaging just 3.8 yards per carry.
Buffalo’s defense, on the other hand, has been so good due to their ability to not only ground aerial attacks, but stuff the run too. They only cede 234.6 yards per game through the air (10th), and just 96.2 on the ground (12th). But with an offense that turns the ball over and can’t sustain a drive, the result has been Buffalo giving up 23.6 points per game (17th).
Underachieving is the only way to identify the offense Buffalo will face this week. The Texans possess the NFL’s 10th-ranked running game and seventh-ranked passing attack. But it has only led to a mediocre 23.0 PPG (18th).
Houston hasn’t turned the ball over a ton (eight turnovers), but they have struggled mightily in the red zone. They are scoring on just 36.4% of their red zone trips, which is second-worst in the league.
Deshaun Watson has totaled 1,621 yards through the air with an 8:5 touchdown to interception ratio (94.6 passer rating). DeAndre Hopkins has been his most effective receiver, pulling down in 39 passes for 594 yards and two TDs.
Meanwhile, it’s been Lamar Miller leading the way out of the backfield, totaling 225 yards on the ground. Until they become much more efficient in the red zone, though, this offense will never reach its full potential.
Defensively, the Texans are a pretty mediocre group. They allow 24.8 PPG, ranking 18th in the NFL. They’ve been strong against the run, surrendering just 95.0 rushing yards per game (eighth-fewest). But they’ve been just average defending the pass. Houston is surrendering 269.2 yards per game through the air (18th).
Buffalo defeated Houston, 30-21, the last time these two teams played, which was December 6th, 2015. The Bills were 3-point favorites in that game.