1. Shaq Lawson shares this connection with Houston's offensive playmakers
Shaq Lawson didn't play in the playoffs in 2017 which will make Saturday's game his first in the playoffs.
"It's going to be great," Lawson said. "I'm going to bring my same self and same energy that I have all year. It's another important game but I'm going to be the same me I was for all 17 weeks of the season."
Lawson has familiarity with the Texans offense. He grew up playing with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and played with quarterback Deshaun Watson for two seasons at Clemson University.
"I know both of those guys so well so having an opportunity to go against both of them is a great feeling," Lawson said. "I'm looking forward to seeing Tre' [White]. Tre' Is the best corner in the league and DeAndre is a top-five receiver. It's going to be a great matchup."
Lawson said that his hamstring won't keep him out of the game and has been partaking in practices this week after not playing in Week 17. Lawson leads the Bills' defensive ends in sacks and knows that he'll be key to slowing down the Texans offense.
"They have a great group on offense, and we know we got to stop those guys. In order to do that we'll have to control the line of scrimmage on both sides," Lawson said.
Scroll through to see the best photos from Buffalo's practice as they prepare for the Wild Card playoff game against the Houston Texans.
2. NFL players, coaches have a lot of respect for the Bills personnel
ESPN asked a number of players, coaches, and team personnel for their anonymous thoughts on each contender in the playoffs. The comments were favorable toward Buffalo's defense and the participants cited cornerback Tre'Davious White as the team's catalyst. Here's what they had to say about the Bills and White.
"He's real good, man. He gets clutch picks. His instincts are on point. He takes that defense to the next level because you can trust him to lock down his side. He's sort of new in the best corner convo because he's young, but he deserves to be there. I hope he or Stephon Gilmore get DPOY [Defensive Player of Year] because they deserve it."
"In previous years, it used to all be about their defense. Their defense has been cold for years. But now they are more balanced. Twenty-six [RB Devin Singletary] has helped their offense get more punch. They run a lot of hurry-up with him. With him, Allen and Frank Gore, their run game is tough. Defense is still the best part of their team, but offense can score enough points in the playoffs. It depends on who they get. I don't think they can beat Baltimore or Kansas City."
3. Bills have a different mindset heading into this year's playoffs
The Bills have much higher expectations for the playoffs in 2019 than in 2017. Lorenzo Alexander described it as a different feel because Buffalo didn't just sneak into them.
"We earned our way in," Alexander said. "And I think we have a higher expectation of what this team is capable of doing. So, I think with that confidence and having a franchise quarterback in Josh [Allen] and knowing what we can do on both sides of the ball we definitely feel like we have an ability to make a run that's going to start here in Houston."
Alexander started telling the Bills during OTAs that they have the expectation of being in the playoffs. In 2017 the Bills had an us against the world mentality and didn't care what happened.
"That's the biggest difference, that it was kind of a surprise (in 2017)," Alexander said. "This year this is where we expected to be and now let's go to work."