AFC Divisional round Playoffs Houston Texans @ New England Patriots

In all honesty it’s difficult to see how the Texans can win this one; it’s difficult to see how anybody except the Patriots can win a Playoff game in Foxboro so without wishing to ruin the surprise I’m pretty sure this is a home win.
Tom Brady is arguably the best Quarterback who has ever played in the NFL, but he’s definitely the best Quarterback who is currently playing in the AFC, (Aaron Rogers is the only one in the league who could challenge him and might do in Houston in a few weeks) but the Texans do have distinguished themselves as the best Defence in the NFL this season so it shouldn’t be a walkover.  LaGarrette Blount has scored 6 rushing touchdowns for the Patriots this season and averaged about 80 yards from the line of scrimmage this season so Brady isn’t the Texans only concern, Blount has missed some practice this week though and although he is thought to be the starting Back he may not be at his devastating best.  Dion Lewis is a different type of Back to the giant Blount but he is averaging 4.4 yards per carry and 5.5 yards per catch so far this season and James White averages 9.2 yards per catch and 4.3 yards per rush for the Patriots this season too, so their Offence is stacked!

The Texans will have built some confidence last week when they eased past the Raiders, who it should be said were missing 2 of their most important players on Offence Donald Penn and Derek Carr. Nonetheless the performances of JaDaveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus who combined for 8 tackles, 2 sacks and an interception are reason to believe the Patriots won’t have it all their own way, especially if Blount is hindered by his injury.

On Offence the Texans have been inconsistent at best all season and their Offensive line is a serious concern although the return of Duane Brown will bolster their ranks the Patriots Chris Long and Rob Ninkovich should see a fair bit of Brock Osweiler who’s bound to take the heat if the Texans don’t make full use of DeAndre Hopkins, in truth the lack of a consistent run game combined with some iffy play calling and the aforementioned turnstile-esque pass blocking has combined to make Osweiler look a huge waste of money.  The Patriots Defence has made a speciality of forcing fumbles this season and only just 5 teams have managed more than their 10 and with temperatures falling to below zero the Texans will need to be extra careful when they are handling the ball.

You could get odds of 8-1 on the Texans winning this game and they frankly seem quite stingy odds, the Patriots are favoured to win by fewer than 12 points but it’s not inconceivable that they could win by somewhere nearer 18 points.  Veteran Texans Defensive Tackle Vince Wilfork may well be playing his last NFL game and as a Patriot legend his performance and how he’s received by the Foxborough faithful will be definitely worth keeping an eye on.

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