The NFL playoffs begin on Saturday. The first Wild Card Weekend matchup features the surprising Buffalo Bills and a Houston Texans team looking to take that next leap forward into perennial eminence.
The Bills averaged 128.4 rush yards per game this season, with rookie running back Devin Singletary and future Hall of Fame veteran Frank Gore accounting for 67 percent of the team’s run offense. Second-year QB Josh Allen (271-461, 3,089 yards, 20 TDs, 9 INTs) is slowly improving as a thrower, and his mobility gives the Bills’ attack more punch in its run game. The Wyoming product has accounted for nine of the team’s 13 rushing touchdowns.
#texans @JJWatt will play tomorrow. But how much? Also his return is massive on the field for this defense Saturday, but he's already making an impact this week with his leadership and energy. Here's my story from NFL Now on @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/HbAOHn1ktt— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) January 3, 2020
The Bills’ ability to run the ball, though it has stalled over the last couple of weeks, is critical to its success. Fortunately, they are up against the one team with significant issues controlling the line of scrimmage. Even with J.J. Watt coming back from injury, Houston owns the worst defense of any team in the playoffs, allowing 128.4 rush yards allowed per game (25th in the NFL). The Texans have allowed 171.3 rushing yards a game over the past three contests, including Tennessee Titans RB (and NFL rushing champion) Derrick Henry’s 211 yards last weekend.
Pro Bowl QB Deshaun Watson (333-495, 3,852 yards, 26 TDs, 12 INTs) is going to have to put in a masterful performance for Houston to get to the next round.
Here’s everything you need to know to live stream Bills vs. Texans, including what to watch for on the field.
Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Texans
- When: 4:35pm ET, Saturday, Jan. 4
- Where: NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas
- Streaming: ESPN/ABC
Bills vs. Texans Live Stream: How to Watch the NFL Playoffs Online
1) Sling TV
- Sling TV pricing: $30-$45 per month (New subscribers get $10 off the first month.)
- Sling TV devices: Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV,Roku,Xbox One, Google Chromecast, Oculus Go, Microsoft Edge, and iOS and Android devices
- Sling TV local channels: NBC, Fox (check your local availability here)
Sling offers a ton of live sports. Sling TV provides two base channel package options, each priced at $25 per month. Sling Orange includes three ESPN channels – including ESPN3, which will simulcast ABC sports broadcasts, while Sling Blue includes sports channels like NFL Network, NBCSN, and local channels. If you’re Team “Why Not Both,” Sling Orange + Blue combines the two for just $45 per month. Sports Extra: Sling Blue ($10 per month) also includes NFL RedZone.
How to use AirTV with Sling
AirTV solves one of Sling’s biggest problems: The inability to receive all of your local channels. By purchasing a basic AirTV for $79.99 or the AirTV Player for $119.99, you can merge those local channels into your Sling TV (or on your mobile device if you have the basic AirTV). As the Daily Dot wrote in its AirTV review, “It’s practically magic.”
The basic AirTV is a dual-tuner streaming device, while the AirTV Player is basically an upgraded Chromecast that has Netflix preinstalled. You’ll still need to own an HD antenna because even though AirTV gets you access to your local channels, it doesn’t actually physically show them to you.
But AirTV—which has no monthly fee—serves to strengthen one of Sling’s biggest weaknesses compared to other live streaming services like Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV. Those services have plenty of local channels.
- Cost: $54.99 per month
- Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices
- Hulu local channels: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, the CW (check your local availability here)
Hulu with Live TV includes sports programming among its offerings, including ESPN and FS1, and as a subscriber to the service, you’ll get free access to Hulu’s sizable on-demand library. (Check out the full list of Hulu Live TV channels.)
3) YouTube TV
- Cost: $50 per month
- YouTube TV devices: Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, iOS and Android devices
- YouTube TV local channels: NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC, the CW (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
4) AT&T TV Now
- Cost: $50-$135 per month
- Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, iOS and Android devices
- Local channels: NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC, the CW (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
AT&T TV Now is a bonus for AT&T wireless customers, especially for those who happen to be soccer fans. It provides instant access to more than 45 channels, including local channels. That means NBC as well as Fox for football, FS1 and FS2 for college sports, NBCSN for various offerings including soccer, and ESPN and ESPN2 for its array of sports programming. It even offers free HBO on PLUS and MAX channel suites. Plus, it comes with CloudDVR for up to 20 hours of TV recording per month. One account works on two devices, but you can add more devices for only $5.
Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Texans: What to expect
It’s a fairly straightforward dilemma for the absolutely awful Texans’ defense–can they stop the Bills from running roughshod over them? Will having J.J. Watt be remotely helpful, given he’s not anywhere near 100% physically?
Two stats could tell the tale. Offenses converted 48.5 percent of their third downs against Houston’s defense, which was third-worst in the league. It also allowed 71.4 percent of opposing offenses’ red-zone trips to be converted into touchdowns, which was dead last in the NFL.
This means one thing: Deshaun Watson is going to have to keep the ball as long as he can, by converting third downs and keeping Houston’s defense off the field by whatever means necessary.
- How to watch the NFL playoffs live online
- How to watch NFL RedZone without cable
- How to watch NFL Sunday Ticket without a DirecTV satellite
- How to watch NFL Network online (without cable)
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