The Patriots, now know.
The Houston Texans, who have a 2-6 road record this season, will be coming to The Razor, as they are the lowest remaining seed in the AFC bracket. Earlier this year New England took care of Houston with ease shutting them out 27-0 in Foxboro, and this was with third string QB Jacoby Brissett at the helm. The Patriots helped expose Osweiler that Sunday as a poor signing by Houston, he only completed 58.5% of his passes, threw an interception to former Pat, Jamie Collins, and just couldn’t get the ball moving.
This divisional game at Gillette stadium next weekend will be quite the challenge for Houston. With no JJ Watt, and Osweiler’s up and down play, It’s going to take that #1 defense of theirs to step up their game. I say this because they still allowed 14 points to Oakland who had rookie QB Connor Cook on the field, who threw 3 interceptions and completed only 40% of his passes. The Raiders also had two time Pro-Bowl left tackle Donald Penn, who had never missed a game in his career, out with a knee injury. With all those turnovers and key Raiders players being hurt, you’d think Houston’s offensive numbers would have been a lot better and it would have been a shut-out.
With New England having Tom Brady back this time around, and The Patriots being the healthiest they have ever been for a playoff run, this game should be a great warm up for the AFC championship game. This would also be a great time for Michael Floyd to be used a lot more and get into an even better groove with Tom Brady and the offense. Malcolm Butler will be responsible for defending Houston’s top receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who just hasn’t clicked with Brock Osweiler this year, leading to a drop in all of his stats. With that, Butler should have no problem even though Hopkins did show up against Oakland with 5 catches for 67 yards and a touchdown. Nate Solder will probably have the toughest assignment having to deal with Jadeveon Clowney, who bullied Oakland’s left tackle all day long. If Nate can keep Clowney from hitting Brady, this game will be that much easier.
It’s never good to assume, but with how The Patriots have been playing going into the playoffs, its really hard to expect an upset from a hurt and shaky Houston team. And as we all should know by now, the only game on The Patriots minds, is this game.