The Houston Texans, coming off a 27-14 home-win against the Oakland Raiders, look to continue their streak on the road to the Super Bowl this upcoming weekend against the New England Patriots. In the Texans-Raiders postseason game, the Texans’ defense lead the way with Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus – limiting quarterback Connor Cook to throw 18 for 45 under pressure. In addition, the defense held both Latavius Murray and DeAndre Washington to under 40 yards and all of the Oakland receivers to 50 yards and below. For the Texans to stand a chance, their defense will have to show up just as it did last weekend.
Now what about the offense you may ask? Brock Osweiler thew 14 for 25 for 168 yards and a touchdown. A respectable game, which is still better than what he has been producing during the regular season. DeAndre Hopkins and Lamar Miller both got touchdowns that game as well, while both breaking the 65 yard mark. Their presence on offense will have to shine to out gun the Patriots, along with Osweiler not turning the ball over and being on target.
During the regular season, the Texans were throttled 27-0 by the Patriots while being lead by a third string quarterback, Jacoby Brissett. The Texan’s defense struggled as well as their offense, where Hopkins was only limited to 56 yards. Osweiler was riddled with over and under-thrown passes, which seemed to be his story for a majority of the season. He finished the season with 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions – one of the worst in the league which also caused him to be benched in place of Tom Savage. If it wasn’t for Savage getting injured, Osweiler would still be benched during their playoff run.
Some match-ups to look out for is one are Patriots’ running back Dion Lewis against Houston’s front seven, along with the Patriots’ receivers against Houston’s secondary. If the Texans wish to survive and overcome the Patriots, they will need to greatly limit Tom Brady and the offense considering the Texans are notorious for not being able to score. Only the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, and Los Angeles Rams have scored fewer points than them this season.
What’s the verdict? I’d love to see the underdog Texans pull this one out, but the odds aren’t looking too great. The Patriots look to destroy any team in their path with an insatiable hunger for victory – and seeing as how the Texans have performed in the past, it’ll be a long-shot for them to win. As we’ve seen in the past, even if Brady were to be taken out of the game, the Patriots proved they can handle themselves without him. Thus, for the Texans to stand a chance, the defense will have to show up like last game and Osweiler needs to be on target.
Prediction: Patriots 27, Texans 10