The Houston Texans are fresh off a win in the wild-card round. Next up, they will travel to Foxborough to take on the New England Patriots. Needless to say, Houston has its hands full, and it will be a major underdog in the 2017 AFC divisional round.
According to ESPN, “The New England Patriots opened as 16-point favorites over the Houston Texans in Saturday’s divisional-round playoff game at Gillette Stadium, sparking some questions.”
In case fans were wondering, “This is a Patriots record for highest point spread.”
Not to mention, “In the previous 40 seasons, only three teams have been favored by 16 or more points in a playoff game.”
So, yeah, the Texans will be massive underdogs when they meet up with the Patriots for some playoff football.
New England got the bye last week as a result of finishing with the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Patriots were 14-2 in 2016, and they are a trendy pick to win the Super Bowl as a result. Surely, it doesn’t hurt that 39-year-old Tom Brady is playing at an elite level.
A lot has happened since Week 3, but in Week 3, New England knocked off Houston by the score of 27-0. The crazy part? Brady didn’t play in that game.
With that said, the Texans showed some serious promise in their playoff victory over the Oakland Raiders. Better yet, and perhaps most importantly, quarterback Brock Osweiler was impressive. When it was all said and done, Osweiler racked up 168 passing yards and two touchdowns.
Surely, Houston’s stingy defense will give the Patriots some problems, but escaping Foxborough with a win is never an easy feat, and that is especially the case when Brady & Co. are in playoff mode.
Before this AFC divisional round showdown gets underway, let’s unleash some bold predictions.
Tom Brady Is Good For 300 Yards And Three Scores
Is Houston’s defense good? Yes, of course. No one denies that. With that said, Tom Brady could end up being the NFL MVP. The biggest knock on him is the fact that he missed some time because of a suspension. However, his stats and play on the field have been otherworldly.
In 12 games, Brady managed to rack up 3,554 passing yards, 28 passing touchdowns, and just two interceptions. He might not win the individual hardware this season, but he is arguably the best player in the game. Therefore, don’t be surprised when Brady racks up at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in this contest.
Brock Osweiler Comes Back Down To Earth, Records Two Interceptions
Brock Osweiler has traveled on a rocky road this season, which is unfortunate since the Texans paid a lot of money for his services in the offseason. His rocky play in 2016 will surely be forgiven if he can lead his team to a victory against the Pats.
Fans should not expect that to happen, though. One game doesn’t change the fact that Osweiler had a bad year.
According to SI Wire, “His 5.97 yards per passing attempt was last among all qualified quarterbacks in the NFL, and his 72.2 passer rating was second to last, above only New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.”
Osweiler might throw a touchdown, but don’t be surprised when he racks up the turnovers as well. On the season, the quarterback had a total of 16 interceptions. Side note: He only had 15 touchdown passes.
Here’s another thing that can’t go unmentioned. New England is only allowing 15.6 points per game, which is the best mark in the NFL.
The Patriots Move On To The Next Round Thanks To A Monster Win
The New England Patriots are arguably the best team in the league for a few reasons. Not only do they have a stingy defense, but they have a lethal offense as well. Look no further than their 27.6 points per game to figure that one out.
While records go out the window this time of year, it’s still important to note that Houston finished with a 9-7 record in 2016, meaning the Texans are very beatable.
To make a long story short, Houston is not going to have the same fate as it did in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Heck, when the final whistle is blown, the Patriots could have a 21-point victory (or more) on their hands. Nonetheless, look for the Pats to move on to the AFC championship game with ease.
[Featured Image by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]