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.

Could next season be the one for Watson? A few have done it before in year four

Watson could join elite company with Super Bowl run in fourth season

Deshaun Watson was magical in the win. Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Countdown to "Mahomes Magic" vying for Lombardi's Prize is rapidly approaching. His arrival and amazing ascension to becoming the "face" of the NFL has been meteoric in nature. So the obvious question for us in Houston, is "how" can Deshaun Watson next year land on center stage representing the AFC at next year's Super Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa? For Deshaun, he'll be entering his fourth NFL season. Have no fear Texans fans, there have been a handful of quarterbacks who have won an NFL Title in their fourth campaigns.

January 12th, 1969 - Joe Namath

​Joe Namath in his 4th season, was an 18 point underdog, led the Jets to one of the games biggest upsets, beating the heavily favored Colts by a score of 16-7. What made this even more remarkable, was that the Colts in the previous round had defeated the Cleveland Browns by a score of 34-0. Namath was not "amazing" that day, completing 17 of 28 passes for a mere 206 yards, but it was "enough" to claim MVP honors at the Miami Orange Bowl. The Jets failed to defend their title the following year, eventually losing to Hank Stram's Cheifs in Super Bowl IV. (The last time Kansas City appeared in a Super Bowl contest)

January 26th, 1986 - Jim McMahon

​Jim McMahon "The Punky QB" aided with Buddy Ryan's famed 46 Defense, and a the league's #1 rushing attack, trounced the New England Patroits in his 4th NFL Season by a score of 46-10. A late hit by Charles Martin during the 86' Regular Season resulted in a separated shoulder, placing Mad Mac on the shelf, and essentially ending the Bears quest for a repeat.

February 3rd, 2008 - Eli Manning

Similar to Namath and the Jets upset in 69', this game is regarded as one of the greatest upsets in NFL History. New England was installed as a -12 point favorite on this day and were chasing perfection, having completed a perfect regular season, and post season. Eli Manning in his fourth year pulled off the miracle, as the Giants were merely a wildcard entry into the playoffs. Prior to this upset, a NFC Wildcard had never captured a Super Bowl Title. Eli threw for 255 yards, and a pair of touchdowns, the most memorable coming in the final moments when David Tyree made the remarkable "helmet catch" in a 17-14 upset victory.

So Houston, fear not !!! A QB can take a franchise to Super Bowl Glory in his 4th season!!!! Or in the case of Patrick Mahomes, possibly as early as a third!

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