The Texans will take on the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The Texans are coming off a victory over the Raiders in the Wild-Card round. The Texans defense dominated the Raiders and their third string quarterback, Connor Cook, who had replaced both Derek Carr and Matt McGloin. Coming off a first round bye, the Patriots will pose a much more difficult matchup. This AFC Divisional Round matchup will kick off on Saturday, January 14th at 8:15 PM. ET.
The Texans defense held the Raiders to approximately 200 yards of total offense. On 15 drives, the Raiders averaged a 2.9 yards per play. While the Texans defense played as well as it could, the offense finally got into a rhythm. Brock Osweiler completed 14 of 25 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown. Osweiler didn’t light the world on fire offensively, but he didn’t burn his teams chances of winning either. If the Texans are to beat New England this week, then they’ll need Osweiler to play complimentary football, protecting the ball and not turning it over.
Earlier this season, the Patriots played the Texans in Gillette and were actually the underdog. In that game, Brady was still serving his suspension and the back up, Jimmy Garappolo, was injured in the previous week. So, starting that game was third-string quarterback, Jacoby Brissett, making his first NFL start of his career. What did the Patriots do? They shut out the Texans 27-0.
Now, that was way back in week three. A lot has changed since then. But, one thing remains the same. The Patriots are a far superior team. Covering a double-digit spread isn’t easy, but there’s a reason the Patriots are the number one seed this season in the AFC, and that’s balance.
The Patriots rank 4th overall in total offense per game according to NFL Stats. New England ranks 4th in passing and 7th in rushing, and it’s that level of balance that’s helped them week in and week out to attack opposing defenses.
The Texans rank 12th in run defense, allowing roughly 100 yards per game. In their week three matchup, New England’s rushing attack was a huge point of emphasis for their offense. The Patriots rushing attack, lead by LeGarrette Blount, rushed for 185 yards and three touchdowns. Blount contributed 105 of those yards and two scores. The Texans have a formidable defensive front, but Blount has proven that over time his style of running wears a defense down. On Saturday, expect to see a lot of Blount pounding the ball at the defense to wear it down.
It’s hard to imagine the Patriots playing better than they did in week three. But, with Tom Brady under center, expect to see a more balanced and dynamic offense. In the final week of the regular season, the Patriots offense continued to make strides. Against the Dolphins, Brady connected with Edelman eight times for 151 yards and a score. In that game, Edelman had a 77 yard touchdown reception that newly acquired receiver, Michael Floyd, helped spring with a devastating block.
Floyd also registered his first touchdown as a Patriot. It’s rare that a player of Floyd’s talent would become available this late in the season and be able to contribute so quickly. Floyd gives the Patriots a deep receiving core, and with so many offensive weapons in the passing game, the Texans are going to have a difficult time taking much away from New England.
Patriots Vs Texans Betting Lines
It would take a superhuman effort for the Texans to beat the Patriots, and that’s not to say that isn’t possible. It’s unlikely, but still possible. And the Patriots know that. They’re the most focused team in the NFL and they’re not going to overlook Houston. The Texans can use a huge point spread to motivate them, but in the end, the Patriots are a better coached team with a better quarterback. And, in the NFL, that’s almost all that matters.
Play: Patriots -15 @ BetOnline.ag