2013 NFL Playoffs: New England Patriots Possibilities

Patriots Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots are entering the Postseason with a desirable 12-4 record and currently sit as the second seed in the AFC. Lets take a look at the teams they may most likely have to face:

Houston Texans:

Since Clinching the second seed, the Patriots may eventually have to face the third seed Houston Texans. The Texans thought that they were entering the Postseason with a first round bye, but a loss to the Indianapolis Colts, plus a New England Patriots and Denver Broncos victory changed the outlook of the AFC.

Houston must  now face the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the Playoffs. If they are victorious, then they will next face New England, a team that they lost to (42-14) in Week 14.

The Texans are coming off a two game losing streak, and don’t have any momentum on their side, which could be a much needed asset when facing New England.

Unlike Houston, the Patriots are coming off a big victory against the Miami Dolphins. Tom Brady threw two touchdowns for 284 yards and Stevan Ridley ran for two touchdowns for 74 yards. Rob Gronkowski made a big return after a broken forearm sidelined him for 5 games. He had 1 touchdown for 42 yards. With a healthy Gronkowski, and a hot Patriot defense, they could have no problem sweeping through the struggling Houston Texans.

Indianapolis Colts Or Baltimore Ravens:

If the Bengals defeat Houston, next on the list would be either the Indianapolis Colts or the Baltimore Ravens. Both the Colts and Ravens are dangerous teams who have given the Patriots a run for their money this season.

Though New England defeated Indianapolis in week 11 with a final score of 59-24, the Colts still show potential to be a driving force this Postseason. Especially Rookie Quarter Back Andrew Luck.

After much hype surrounding Luck coming into the NFL, he has shown no cause for concern as he has posted phenomenal numbers for a rookie with 23 touchdowns and over 4,000 yards.

On the defensive end for Indianapolis, Darius Butler has proven to be the breakout star. Butler has posted career numbers in his four seasons in the NFL with four interceptions for 101 yards and two pick sixes. Corner back Vontae Davis has also been a force on the defensive end. He had a great game Sunday against the Houston Texans with two interceptions for 26 yards. With Head Coach Chuck Pagano back from cancer treatment, the Colts need to ride their most recent momentum into the postseason.

The Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots have had historic battles throughout the years. The most talked about is last season’s AFC Championship game.

Trailing the Patriots 23-20 with just seconds on the clock, Kicker Billy Cundiff lined up for what appeared to be a sure thing, but unbelievably, missed. The rest is history as the Patriots advanced to Super Bowl XLVI, only to lose to the New York Giants.

The Ravens made it clear that they wanted revenge, and got a taste of it, after beating the Patriots in week 3 with a final score of 31-30. Joe Flacco threw 3 touchdowns for 382 yards; two of those touchdowns going to breakout star Torrey Smith.

If Baltimore brings this type of performance back to the Patriots, then one of two things will happen. Either history will repeat itself with another nail-biter, or a new chapter will be written in this storied rivalry.

If New England can remain victorious through the first rounds of the playoffs and make it to the AFC Championship, then they may have to face Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos. This could once and for all put an end to the questions surrounding the Brady vs. Manning rivalry. Stay Tuned.


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