New England Patriots vs Houston Texans: 5 Matchups to Watch

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots
NFL: Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots /

The New England Patriots will be hosting the Houston Texans on Saturday night. Here are five matchups to watch.

The New England Patriots are coming off their well-earned bye week during Wild Card Weekend as they waited to see who would come to Foxboro to challenge them on Saturday night. After shutting down Oakland’s third-string rookie quarterback on Saturday, the Patriots saw the Pittsburgh Steelers crush the Miami Dolphins to set the stage for this Week 3 rematch.

Of course, things are different from that Thursday night matchup which New England won handily 27-0: J.J. Watt is on injured reserve for Houston; Rob Gronkowski is on injured reserve for New England; Jamie Collins was shipped off to Siberia Cleveland; and instead of a third-string rookie quarterback New England has the motivated and driven future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Tom Brady behind center.

As with any game there are so many matchups on the field that are going to have a huge impact on the game. Some great matchups include New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady matching wits against the excellent pair of safeties in Houston, Quintin Demps and Andre Hal; New England fullback James Develin butting heads with Texans inside linebacker Brian Cushing in the running game; Texans tight ends Ryan Griffin and CJ Fiedorowicz trying to get open against Patriots safety Patrick Chung; and the New England defensive ends (Trey Flowers, Rob Ninkovich, Jabaal Sheard, and Chris Long) testing the tackles for Houston with former Broncos Chris Clark and veteran Duane Brown.

As interesting and crucial those matchups would be go into further detail, there are more head-to-head battles which will swing the game and have even a larger impact on the final outcome of the game. With that, here are the five matchups to watch on Saturday night as the New England Patriots host the Houston Texans in the AFC Divisional round of the NFL Playoffs.