New England Patriots Have Edge in AFC Divisional Playoff
On Saturday evening the Houston Texans defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 19-13 advancing to the AFC divisional round where they will travel north to face the New England Patriots in a rematch of a week 14 matchup. The first time around the Patriots dominated the Texans scoring quick and early and winning 42-14. Next week when the two teams face off again, the result shouldn’t be much different.
The Patriots match up very well against the Texans. The Texans strength is their defense and their running game. That bodes well for the Patriots because their strengths are their offense and their rushing defense. That’s why the Patriots were so successful the first time these two teams met and it’s why the Patriots should be successful when they meet next Sunday.
The way the Texans beat the Bengals Saturday is the same way they’ve been successful for the majority of the 2012 season. The defense held the Cincinnati offense which has averaged 332.7 yards and 24.4 points a game to just 198 yards and 13 points. On offense their hitched themselves on the back of Arian Foster who carried the ball a whopping 32 times for 140 yards and a touchdown. This strategy worked well against a lesser Bengals team but won’t work the same against the mighty Patriots.
The reason why the Patriots so easily defeated the Texans four weeks ago is that the Texans had the exact opposite production from the defense and rushing attack in that game. Back in week 14 the Patriots gained 419 total yards on the Texans defense which included Tom Brady throwing four touchdowns. As for Foster, the 2013 Pro Bowler carried the ball 15 times and gained just 46 yards. It was the fourth least productive game of the season for him as he gained the fourth least amount of yards of the season.
Coming off of a bye week the Patriots will be rested and healthy as they wait for the Texans to arrive in Foxborough. The Patriots know how to demolish the Texans as they did just four weeks ago. The way the Texans beat the Bengals Saturday will be nearly impossible to successfully do against the Patriots as the Texans strengths will be up against the Patriots strengths. That gives the edge of their AFC divisional playoff to the Patriots.