New England Patriots Present a Problem for Houston Texans


The Toro is out of the bag and the New England Patriots will face Houston Texans in a divisional-round match up on January 13.  Houston Texans won the wild card game against the Cincinnati Bengals, 19-13. Although Houston Texans advance into the playoffs, I would give credit to their defense more than the offense in this last game. Even though Texans offense was consistent, it had a tough time converting touchdowns.

Dec 10, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) runs for a first down against the Houston Texans during the third quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

In this next rematch, I predict the New England Patriots to win by 38-10 and here is why:

Houston has a problem:  Houston Texans started to stumble into some hurdles since week 11 when they faced Jacksonville Jaguars and the game went into overtime ending up in an uneasy win to Houston, 43-37. In week 12, Houston played against Detroit Lions, which once again  went into overtime and barely got a win, 34-31. In Week 14, Patriots really exposed Texans’ flaws in their blowout win 42-14 in Foxboro. Since then,  Houston has struggled in the remaining of the regular season with a win in week 15 against Indianapolis Colts, 29-17; a loss in week 16 against Minnesota Vikings, 23-6; and ending the regular season with another loss in week 17 in a rematch against the Indianapolis Colts, 28-16. The set back is – Bill Belichick capitalized in exposing this offense/defense flaws. It was a matter of time until Houston Texans next opponents got the hint.

The New England Patriots have secret weapons: every game, every play the New England Patriots are an unpredictable team – offensively or defensively. First of all, the offense’s tempo is extremely remarkable which absolutely obscure the defense’s reaction or plan of game.

The next big weapon is the comeback of tight end, Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski played a few snaps in week 17 against the Miami Dolphins scoring a touchdown and a total of 42 receiving yards. Even if Gronk does not have a considerable amount of playtime, whatever time he plays, it will be enough to disrupt any defense, mainly the Texans which is nothing new for the New England Patriots.

In addition, I must express one of the best quarterback in the league, Tom Brady. Besides his outstanding talent and intelligence of the game, Tom Brady is eager for another Super Bowl win. Proof of that is evidence of his leadership following that unhappy win against the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 16, 23-16. Moreover, let’s not forget the resilience this team demonstrated in that remarkable 28 point-deficit comeback game in week 15 against the San Francisco 49ers. It’s a shame it did not turn out a win for the Patriots, but it was a loss that left many Patriots fans aware of what this team is capable of.

Having said that, one last reminder is this defense awareness and ability on takeaways. The Patriots ended the regular season ranked first in the league with 41 takeaways and 16 giveaways. This defense is a powerhouse moving at full throttle with Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, Justin Francis, Chandler Jones, Logan Mankins, Devin McCourty, and the anticipated comeback of Aqib Talib and Rob Ninkovich. It should be a great rematch and well worth of its prime-time.  But  until then, we will have to wait and see.

You can follow Celia Westbrook on Twitter @celiawestbrook