The Patriots appear to have an easy schedule in the playoffs as their first matchup will be home against the Houston Texans, a team that the Patriots were able to route 27-0 in their regular season game this year.
Back in week 3, the Pats didn’t have Brady or Jimmy Garapollo, instead rookie Quarterback Jacoby Brissett took the helm and played in his first win in the NFL. Of course, this game is much different than the one in week 3. Both teams are very much better than they were at the start of the season.
For Houston, their defense is filled with studs that have emerged this season with Bernard McKinney, A.J. Bouye, and the monster Jadaveon Clowney. The offense is, dare I say, starting to come together? Perhaps, we only really saw one half of the offense in actual motion against the Raiders with Brock Osweiler’s second stint as their starting quarterback. In the second half of that game, the offense played it safe and was able to hold onto the game against a Raiders team that really couldn’t put anything together. Still, from what we saw Brock is having trouble reaching wide receivers and will tend to let Lamar Miller carry the offense with an occasional pass to a tight-end.
There’s this tendency I have as both a writer and a person which I use almost everyday. It’s called playing devil’s advocate. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Yeah, I’m that guy. I love to find ways to make things fair. I love to look the opposite way. So, with this matchup that’s what I’m going to do.
I’d like to be a fair reporter and make a case for the Houston Texans, but it’s tough. They’re a really well-put together team, but with atrocity from the quarterback position there’s just no way for them to get past the Patriots. New England is clicking and firing on all cylinders. They’re coming off a big divisional blowout win as well as an all-around well-played game against a rival and playoff team. They’re feeling good. Still, I hate to call it such a shoe-in. If I know the Patriots like I think I do, they’re not calling it a shoe-in either. They’re preparing the same way they do every single week, and that’s the beauty of this team.
Houston CAN fins ways to win this game. The difference maker is at the quarterback position in this one. Houston’s offensive line can hold and it won’t matter. Their defense can play phenomenal and it won’t matter. Hopkins can run perfect routes with hands of gold and it still won’t matter. If Brock Osweiler doesn’t play well, the Texans simply don’t stand a chance. That’s pretty intimidating for a guy who got benched both this season and last season, and who some are calling the biggest Free Agency bust of all time.