The Houston Texans will be facing the New England Patriots in the AFC divisional round in this season’s NFL playoffs. While the Texans are a surprise this season, the success of the New England Patriots are not. New England finished their NFL regular season 14-2, which nabbed them a number one seed in this year’s AFC playoffs. The Texans finished this year with a number four seed due to them winning their division and finished their NFL season 9-7. While conventional wisdom will point to New England as the team to beat, the Texans feature one of the NFL’s best defenses led by star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. The Texans defeated the Oakland Raiders 27-14 on wild card weekend on January 7 to advance. The real question is, do the Texans have a chance to shock the NFL and advance to the AFC Championship game?
As of right now, the Texans have a history with New England, just not on their side. The Texans have gone to New England four times, but four times they have been blown out.
“You know you’re in trouble when the oddsmakers in Vegas have basically given up on you. That is kind of what has happened here with the Texans. Houston is a 16-point underdog in this game, which I’m only letting you know because it’s the largest playoff point spread in 18 years.
“The Texans have played at New England four times in franchise history and they’ve been blown out every time (27-0 in 2016, 41-28 in the 2012 playoffs, 42-14 in 2012 regular season, 40-7 in 2006).
“To give you an idea of how hopeless things are for the Texans, the odds say that Tom Brady has a better chance of being elected president in 2020 than the Texans do of winning this game.”
This isn’t to say the Texans don’t have a chance, it’s just saying the likelihood of the Texans being successful against New England at home is tough. In fact for any NFL team, beating New England at their place is tough, so the Texans shouldn’t feel bad.
Here’s one thing that’s interesting, though. A year and two months ago, Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler shocked the NFL when he led his then-team the Denver Broncos to a win over New England. Osweiler was filling in for the injured Peyton Manning and the win over New England helped the Broncos get the home-field advantage that postseason. The Denver Broncos, of course, went on to win the NFL title that season. So do the Texans have enough to stop New England? They have the tools, they just have to execute and show the NFL what they can do. CBSSports.com writer John Breech believes the Texans have a chance, just the Patriots have a greater chance.
“Osweiler plus a top defense equals Patriots killer.
“The Texans just might be in position to pull off one of the biggest upsets in NFL playoff history. You know what? I’ll be honest, that’s just me talking the Texans up. I don’t think they actually have a chance in this game. I just wanted to give Texans fans something to be excited about because I feel like they’re probably going to want to turn this game off before the second quarter ends Saturday.”
The NFL is a league that prides itself on winning in tough conditions. Whether or not the Texans can defeat the Patriots is all speculation; they have the talent, just have to execute as a team. More specifically, on the defensive side of the ball. The Denver Broncos showed the rest of the NFL how to stop three elite quarterbacks last postseason (Ben Rothlisberger, Tom Brady, and Cam Newton). If Clowney and his counterparts can stop Brady and his offense, the Texans have a good chance of upsetting the Patriots and shocking the NFL.
[Featured Image by Jim Rogash/Getty Images]