The Matchup:Broncos (4-8) at Texans (8-4)
Day/Time/Where: Sunday, 12 p.m. NRG Stadium
TV: KHOU, Ch. 11
What’s At Stake: After an impressive win last week over the previously one-loss New England Patriots, the Texans have to be thinking about wrapping up the AFC South division title for the second straight year and playoff positioning. Barring a complete collapse of either Baltimore or the Patriots, the Texans best playoff positioning is a No.3 seed and at least a first-round playoff game at home. The Broncos have already turned the page to preparing and evaluating for next season in these final four games of the regular season.
What To Watch For: Texans QB Deshaun Watson has emerged as a star in the NFL, but he has been helped greatly by the presence of a strong rushing attack led by running backs Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson, who were both brought onto the team late in training camp after injuries threatened to derail the position. Both have been everything the Texans could have hoped for and then some hard hard-charging downhill runners and capable receivers out of the backfield. The Texans secondary also got a much-needed boost last week with the return of cornerback Bradley Roby and CB Gareon Conley (hip) could be back this week, giving the Texans a healthy two-deep secondary for the first time this season. … Speaking of the Texans secondary, former first-round draft pick Kareem Jackson returns to the scene of his first nine years in the league Sunday to face his old team. Jackson says it’s not personal, it’s just a game but he certainly will have something to prove after the Texans decided not to resign him in the offseason. … Denver rookie QB Drew Lock had a successful debut last week, leading the Broncos to a stunning win over the Los Angeles Chargers last week. Can he duplicate it this week is what the Denver front office will be looking for as they evaluate whether or not he is the long-term solution to their quarterback position?
The Bottom Line: The Texans are playing well, having won two straight and four of their last five. They have too much on the line to let off the gas now so look for them to win this one easily at home.