Houston Texans @ New England Patriots
Kickoff: Sunday, 4:30 ET
I re-watched the last game between these two teams in December and came away with one feeling. Wow. The Patriots dominated in almost every single aspect. There linebackers stopped Arian Foster, Aqib Talib shut down Andre Johnson, Brady hit Hernandez with ease, the Patriots O-line pass were dominant in pass protection and run blocking, and Wes Welker was open all game.
For the Texans to win I believe there are two things that must change; their O-Line and D-Line must dominate. That’s it. They are a less talented team who has limped into the playoffs and looked very mediocre last week in a win over the Bengals. If they want to win this game they must be able to run Arian Foster up the middle, and then later find ways to hit him on screenplays and draws. He is their best offensive player, and he will allow them to keep the ball away from Tom Brady. For this to be possible however, their offensive line must be able to stop Vince Wilfork in the middle. They couldn’t the first game. I have my doubts this time around.
On defense, look no further than J.J. Watt. Last time he was non-existent and this game he will need to force Brady to be uncomfortable and make throws before he wants to. The New York Giants have drawn the blue print to beat the Patriots in the playoffs; get after Brady all game long. To do this however, you must have a great defensive line.
Lucky Guess of the Game:
Stevan Ridley has more than 100 yards rushing and Wes Welker has more than 100 receiving yards.
Honestly, I can’t see the Texans winning this game. This is by far my most confident prediction.
Patriots Win. 38-24