On Sunday the Buffalo Bills (3-4) will travel to the No. 1 team in the AFC, the Houston Texans (6-1).
Buffalo actually leads the all-time series 2-3 which includes two victories in Houston, but history will not be on the Bills' side.
Both teams are coming off of a bye week and in very different shape. Houston trounced Baltimore before the bye, 43-13, and picked up a two-game lead on the overall second-ranked AFC Ravens.
While Buffalo is coming off a gut-wrenching one point loss to Tennessee at home 35-34.
Buffalo is a team many people thought were going to improve from last season and contend for a wild card, but have been disappointing on both sides of the ball.
Although, despite the 3-4 record, they are not out of wild card contention yet as they currently hold the 10th seed with Oakland (3-4), San Diego (4-4), and Pittsburgh (4-3) ahead of them. While Indianapolis (4-3) and Miami (4-3) have the sixth and fifth seeds respectively.
However, Buffalo has an extremely difficult opponent in Houston and with their offense being so one-dimensional, and their defense so susceptible to giving up gobs of yards, expect this game to be the knock-out punch for Buffalo.
Here are three bold predictions as to how Buffalo's demise will happen.
Mario Williams' homecoming will be spoiled by J.J. Watt: Williams was the overall No. 1 pick by Houston in 2006 and leads the franchise with 53 total sacks. This is his first season away from Houston and he has struggled, accumulating only has 3.5 sacks on the season with Buffalo. Which doesn't even lead the team, defensive tackle Kyle Williams has that distinction with 4.5.
Houston, without Williams, who was the cornerstone of their defense has not skipped a beat. They have proven to be tough against both the run and pass. Giving up an average of 200 yards through the air and only 83 on the ground, which places them third in average total yards given up a game with 283.
A large part of that has to do with Williams' successor, second-year defensive end J.J. Watt. Watt has been a beast this year leading the NFL with 9.5 sacks and second on the team with 34 tackles. Watt is currently on pace to break Williams' single season franchise record of 14 sacks.
Expect Williams to be contained by a Houston offensive line that has only allowed quarterback Matt Schaub to be sacked eight times this season. Plus to make Williams' night even harder to endure, he'll have to watch Watt rack up at least two sacks against Ryan Fitzpatrick, bringing him closer to breaking Williams' record.
Arian Foster will dominate: The Bills have been awful on defense this year, particularly against the run, allowing a league-worst 176 yards a game on the ground, while giving up 32 points a game.
Conversely, Houston has been magnificent rushing the football. They rank sixth in the NFL with an average of 140 yards a game.
For those that were hesitant about Arian Foster coming into the season, by now those fears should be quelled. Foster is on pace for a 2,000 yard season and is fifth in the NFL with 659 yards. More impressively however is his nine NFL-leading rushing scores, which puts him on pace for 25 rushing touchdowns. He's the only back in the league that is on such a pace.
With Buffalo giving up 195 yards to Chris Johnson and 137 yards to New England's Brandon Bolden, it's not inconceivable to think that Foster will have between 180 and 200 yards rushing with two scores on the ground.
Expect Ben Tate to come in the 4th quarter for some light mop-up duty.
The Bills' rushing attack will be halted and Fitzpatrick will throw two picks: Like Houston, Buffalo relies heavily on the run, having the third best rushing attack in the NFL with 150 yards a game, led by C.J. Spiller who has 523 rushing yards on the season. However, they do not have quite as talented a passing attack.
Fitzpatrick and company boast the fourth lowest average yards through the air with 198. Steve Johnson is the leading receiver with 32 receptions for 387 yards.
Houston boasts two receivers with 30-plus catches, Andre Johnson (34) and Owen Daniels (33), and they both have over 400 yards receiving.
Buffalo, when forced to beat teams through the air have not excelled all season. With the running game stalled, expect Fitzpatrick to be under constant duress from Watt and company, which will cause Fitzpatrick to turn the ball over at least twice.
Also, don't expect a ton of yards from Spiller. I know that Chris Jonson had 141 yards rushing against the Texans, but Spiller is not Johnson.
The Bills are going to end up abandoning the run early trying to play catch-up. If Spiller breaks 50-yards, it will be a surprising.