NFL Playoffs Preview: Houston Texans At New England Patriots — AFC Divisional Round

Just one week after Brock Osweiler had the biggest game of his NFL career while defeating the Oakland Raiders in the Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs, he will lead the Houston Texans against the New England Patriots and Tom Brady in one of two AFC Divisional Round match-ups. The Patriots received a bye in the first round after earning the best record in the NFL (14-2), while no one left in the NFL Playoffs had a worse regular season record than the Texans (9-7).

Texans at Patriots (Brock Osweiler)
Brock Osweiler vs. New England Patriots [Image by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images]

After building a 10-0 lead over the Raiders at home, the Texans expanded their lead to 13 points by halftime and never looked back. Osweiler and Houston will need to be at least that good in New England, as they face the team most likely to win Super Bowl 51, as reported by Fox Sports. When the two teams met at Gillette Stadium in Week 3 of the regular season, Tom Brady’s back-up’s back-up — rookie Jacoby Brissett — made his first NFL start and defeated the Texans 27-0.

While the Brock Osweiler who showed up against the Oakland Raiders was a very different Brock Osweiler than the one from Week 3, a 27-point shutout means Houston was having more than just issues at quarterback. With one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL Playoffs history in Tom Brady leading the way for New England, everyone from Houston is going to have to step up in a big way if the Texans hope to get past the Patriots and move on to the AFC Championship game.

NFL Playoffs: Tom Brady, New Englad Patriots
Tom Brady of the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts [Image by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images]

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Calling a victory for Brock Osweiler and the Houston Texans over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots an upset would be an understatement. With the Pats opening as 16-point favorites, Yahoo! Sports notes that it is the fourth-highest spread in NFL Playoffs history. Considering the 27-0 beating that the Texans took earlier in the year — without Tom Brady back in the line-up — it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if New England beat the spread (and then some).

As reported by ESPN, the Patriots begin the 2017 NFL Playoffs healthier than they have ever been since Bill Belichick started coaching them 17 years ago. New England made it through the 2016 season adding just four names to their injured reserve: Rob Gronkowski, Greg Scruggs, Michael Williams, and Jonathan Freeny. Over the last decade, the lowest number of Patriots on the IR heading into the post-season was seven. Last year, their list included a whopping 15 players. By those standards, adding just four players through the course of the season seems like an answer to a prayer.

Where to Watch New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans

The AFC Divisional Playoffs match-up featuring the Houston Texans at New England Patriots will be played at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. The game will be televised on CBS with coverage beginning at 8:15 p.m. EST. The game can be heard live on Westwood One Radio and can be viewed online with a subscription to NFL Game Pass.

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