Players that have to show up for Houston to beat Buffalo

Who better ball for Texans vs. Bills

These are the players that have to ball out for the Texans to beat the Bills

Deshaun Watson

​Deshaun Watson has to play better than he has after the bye. Before the bye he was regularly efficient and dynamic. Post-bye, it has been inefficient and irregularly dynamic. A season filled with promise and headed towards surpassing last year led to a season where he failed to beat almost all his statistics from last season. Some of that is on the offense but it is on Deshaun Watson too.

Last year, albeit with a terrible line and banged up wideout crew, he played awful in the playoff game. First-time playoff quarterbacks have issues usually. That's not Watson now. This is one of the toughest defenses he has played all season. Comparable to the New England defense he and the rest of the Texans offense shredded post-bye.

Whitney Mercilus

​New deal, new year, hopefully the same old Mercilus in the playoffs. Whitney Mercilus has to finish against the Bills to make sure the Texans win. He had a huge start to the season but he dipped in the middle only to recover with a huge game against the Buccaneers.

Mercilus has six career sacks in six playoff games. Here's what's important though, when rushing the passer as his primary job, which is over three games, he scored all six of those sacks to go along with three more quarterback hits and another tackle for a loss. He totaled 12 tackles. He was a force.

Dion Dawkins should draw the assignment on Mercilus and he is the best pass blocker on the Bills. Plus, Josh Allen's mobility is incredible in extending plays and keeping plays alive. Mercilus kicking ass would go a long way to the Texans getting a win.

Bradley Roby

Bradley Roby and who he covers will be one of the more interesting things happening on the field for the Texans. If he has to drop inside to cover someone, they trust others to not have the Bills playmakers hurt them. If he is taking care of their T.Y. Hilton, aka John Brown, then who is taking care of the over-the-middle success the Bills will surely have.

Roby wants a big deal and he took a one-year prove it deal. He has plenty to prove in the playoffs. For the Broncos a couple of seasons ago he forced a huge fumble against the Steelers that led to a game-changing touchdown. Time to prove it for a Texans team. He had a huge interception against Tom Brady and surely Josh Allen will give him chances.

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Texans to hire David Culley. Composite image by Jack Brame

Ian Rapoport is reporting that the Texans will hire former Ravens assistant head coach David Culley as their new head coach. John McClain reported earlier on Wednesday that the coaching hire was narrowed down to Culley and Bills DC Leslie Frazier.

Now the question becomes, what does Deshaun Watson think of the hire? Culley has no experience as a head coach but did work closely with Andy Reid from 1999-2012 in Philly and 2013-2016 in KC. Many believed that Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy would be the next Texans coach because of his years learning from Reid. But the Texans opted for the lesser-known Culley instead.

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