BY DAN BEGNOCHE
While the Buffalo Bills' defensive squad is figuring out how to quell the league's ninth-ranked offense, the offense will be equally busy with the Houston Texans' third-ranked defense.
Run by defensive guru Wade Phillips, Houston's squad is touting some of the best stats in the league, namely against the run (83 yards per game), in points per game (18) and in turnover differential (+7). And a big part of that success is due to the play of defensive end J.J. Watt, who's put up ridiculous numbers in his seven games.
“J.J. (Watt) is playing out of his mind right now,” Buffalo running back Fred Jackson told reporters Monday. “It will be a good challenge for us, but for us to get to where we want to be, we know we have to play teams like this.”
Watt leads the league with 9.5 sacks, leads all defensive lineman with 10 pass deflections and has recovered two fumbles, as well. Watt shrugged off his accomplishments Tuesday when speaking with buffalobills.com, saying the Texans' defense has much more in store for the second half of the season.
“We’re making plays. We’re flying all over the field and we’re still not playing our best football," Watt said. "There are a lot of games left. We’ve got nine regular seasons left. We’re going to keep getting better every single week. You don’t want to peak too early. We’re still rolling. We’re still getting there.”
Despite injuries on the offensive line, Buffalo has continued to provide strong protection for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The line has held defenses to eight total sacks, second best in the league, and 24 hits on Fitzpatrick, third least. With linemen Andy Levitre and Kraig Urbik slated to return from injury for Sunday's game, along with Cordy Glenn's possible return, Buffalo's line should be solid, and it will need to be against a Texans team with total 21 sacks.
“We get to go down to their place, which is going to be a tough thing for us to do,” Jackson said. “We like what we have got here and what we can do. It will be a good challenge for us, but we are looking forward to it.”
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