The New England Patriots will be hoping for a repeat performance of their Week 14 42-10 victory over the Houston Texans when they meet again in the divisional round of the playoffs this Sunday. Both teams were favored to represent the AFC in this season’s Super Bowl, and one team will be one step closer in doing so at game’s end.
On paper, Houston and New England seems to be evenly matched. Both teams finished the regular season with 12-4 records, and both had offenses that were ranked in the top ten in the league during the regular season.
Though both teams may be similar on the offensive side of the ball, the Patriots are a bit more explosive than the Texans. In their regular season meeting, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had four touchdown passes, and led the offense effortlessly down the field against Houston’s defense. The funny thing is that Brady did this without one of his favorite targets in tight end Rob Gronkowski. This time, Gronkowski is expected to play, and should make New England’s offense more potent.
Needless to say, Houston’s offense struggled against the Patriots. Texans running back Arian Foster ran for just 46 yards. On the other side of the ball, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, the league leader in sacks, went the entire game without getting to the quarterback.
In this divisional playoff matchup, look for Foster and Watt to have much better games than they did in Week 14. You can also expect Brady to have another big game as well, especially since Gronk is back in the lineup.
Prediction: Patriots 28, Texans 17
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