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Saturday NFL game thread: Two games on the slate before tonight’s showdown

Jameis, Deshaun, Brady, Allen

San Francisco 49ers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Texans are on the road against Tampa Bay to start the day off. Jameis Winston, who the Bucs announced they are bringing back for the 2020 season, will be short-handed as Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are out for the season. Houston comes in at 9-5 and boasts one of the most talented offenses in the NFL. It’s a matter of them performing up to their capabilities. Sound familiar?

Speaking of the Texans, defensive end J.J. Watt tore his pectoral muscle in October. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Watt will be back for the playoffs. If Houston has to win in Week 17, Watt will return to practice as soon as next week and play. 49ers linebacker Kwon Alexander tore his pec four days after Watt. We talked about how Alexander is working to come back for the playoffs and how it’s possible. It’s hard to believe he won’t be back.

The Texans are three-point favorites in this one; I think they win by a touchdown at least. It should be an entertaining game. I’m not sure how Winston will look without his top two targets.

The late-game features the Bills and the Patriots. This one has bigger implications on the AFC East. These are two of the better coached teams in the NFL, as well as defenses. This will likely come down to which team makes the least amount of mistakes. I heard a stat that Tom Brady is something like 31-3 in his career against Buffalo. That’s pretty amazing, but it feels like this Bills team is built to compete with New England, and the Patriots offense isn’t very good. The total on this game is at 37, which tells you Vegas isn’t expecting many points at all. The Patriots are 6.5 point favorites in this one. If I were a betting man, I’d be on the Bills.

Enjoy these games, get some holiday shopping done, and we’ll see you back here tonight.