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NFL Week 16 Saturday early live thread

We’ve got a pair of interesting contests before the Rams and Niners get going tonight.

Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen
Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Houston Texans (9-5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-7)

1pm ET/10am PT, NFL Network

Interesting game here to start things off.

The Texans are currently in the fourth seed in the AFC playoff picture atop the AFC South, but they’ve gotten there on the strength of their offense because...folks...that defense has problems. They’re currently fifth-worst in the NFL in yards allowed per game with EDGE J.J. Watt yet again on IR.

The Bucs on the other hand are trying to get things right for 2020 under first-year Head Coach Bruce Arians and starting to look strong on that front having won five of their last six and riding a four-game winning streak. QB Jameis Winston leads the NFL in passing yards and is second with 30 passing touchdowns behind only Baltimore Ravens QB/RB Lamar Jackson who has 33...but Winston also leads the NFL in interceptions by a mile with 24. The Bucs have a huge decision on their hands on whether or not to hand Famous Jameis a contract extension with his deal ending in a few months and if so for how much.

Buffalo Bills (10-4) at New England Patriots (11-3)

4:30pm ET/1:30pm PT, NFL Network

Well here you go, Buffalo fans. It’s been twenty years since the Bills put together a season with double-digit wins, and they’ve wrapped that up before Christmas this year with a chance to put the star on top of their 2019 tree with this game. Beating the Pats in Foxboro would be the biggest signature win for this franchise...of the century? There’s not a ton to pick from outside of maybe getting into the playoff two seasons ago, but that was a backslide entry on a 9-7 wildcard gig. They’ve already outplayed that season in 2019 but have the Evil Empire in front of them. And it’s a huge contest as whomever comes in second in the AFC East will get seeded fifth; the other could get a first-round bye with the 2-seed.

The Bills are a defensive team who have put the clamps on some of the better offenses in the NFL this year including a spirited loss two weeks ago against the Ravens in which the Bills looked tuned up for the playoffs. The big question looming is if second-year QB Josh Allen is ready for the big time. Fun team to root for.

The Pats stink. Fun team to root against.