Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots Playoff Preview, Prediction and Pick
This Sunday the NFL Playoff action comes to a close with one of the most intriguing match-up's of the weekend. It features the number two seed in the AFC in the New England Patriots, against a team who dropped to third in the AFC in the Houston Texans with a week 17 loss. The Texans now have to play this game in New England, making it a tough match-up against the pass heavy Patriots' offense. Houston started off their playoff run with a win against the Cincinnati Bengals last weekend, and their reward for the win is a trip to New England. This game should feature quite a few points on the board, and kickoff is set for 4:30pm EST on Sunday.
The Texans offense was fueled by a great game from running back Arian Foster, and they'll continue to keep him rolling against the Pats. The Patriots secondary hasn't been great this season though, and I think that Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson should be able to connect quite a few times as well in their attempt to keep pace with the Patriots offense. The real issue I see has to be the injuries to the linebackers for Houston, so they could have some issues against Brady and the Pats on Sunday.
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The Patriots offense is simply scary, especially at home. With players like Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker, and Brandon Lloyd, it causes some issues for defenses throughout the NFL. Expect the Patriots to do what they do and keep airing it out, but I do think that Stevan Ridley should be able to help keep the pressure off of Brady on Sunday.
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Unfortunately for Houston fans, I think that their season comes to an end in New England on Sunday. The offense of the Patriots is just too talented, and I don't think that Houston is going to be able to keep up. It'll be close throughout the first half, but expect the Patriots to make the key adjustments needed to get the job done in the second half. I don't see a major defensive battle here like we've seen in a few of the opening round games, but I'm taking the Patriots by two touchdowns.
Prediction: New England Patriots- 31 Houston Texans- 17
Pick: New England Patriots -9.5
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