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Published: Sat, January 14, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Underrated Pats defense set for Texans

Underrated Pats defense set for Texans

Osweiler watched Peyton Manning help defeat the Patriots 20-18 in the AFC Championship Game. Vince [Wilfork] has been one of the best players in the league since he got in the league.

O'Brien knows what his team is up against on Saturday. I think about his off-the-field [attachments]: his family, his wife and kids and all the things that he does for the community in Boston, New England and then obviously here in Houston. Unless, of course, they advance to Super Bowl LI, which will be held in Houston on february 5.

Technically, there are a few things the Texans can do to keep this game close, but it's going to take the flawless game plan and near-perfect execution.

"I think that they're playing really well in all three phases", New England's Rob Ninkovich said.

"We're going to go out there and play with anticipation and confidence like we do every week", Tom Brady said during a press conference. "There's no question there's a good team coming in here and we got to play good football". And for a team that's survived by a combination of strong defense and opposing offensive incompetence (plus random chance like recovering an unlikely number of your own fumbles), it's a almost insurmountable challenge. Despite Tom Brady not starting, it was a shutout rout for the Patriots.

New England frustrated Osweiler all game in the first meeting. Brady's preparation is unmatched and he is not interested in anything but the Patriots handling their business.

When All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski was placed on injured reserve with a season ending back injury on December 3rd, many pundits were skeptical the Patriots could make up for his production. "That's ridiculous to think that", he said of his approach to Saturday's game.

With the game set to air on CBS at 8:15 pm ET Saturday night, NFL legend and current CBS NFL Today analyst Tony Gonzalez weighed in with his thoughts on this and other divisional round matchups. "He's going to try and find a way to start the game fast. There's nothing easy about it". Osweiler couldn't hit a pass downfield, he settled for his check down far too often (as evidenced by his 4.8 yards-per-attempt average) and he threw a particularly ugly interception. The positive gains he has made are being overlooked but he is going to have to put together the best game of his career on Saturday. You've got an excellent scheme that goes fast and changes personnel groups. Osweiler will start again here.

At this point in his career, Wilfork enjoys helping his younger teammates nearly as much as playing.

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. He's a guy that's very well-prepared. "So in preparation for him, it's very hard".

"The biggest challenge is probably trying to get to him", cornerback Kareem Jackson said.

Whatever your plans, let us know in the Comments. In the 12 games following his "Deflategate" suspension, Brady tossed 28 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. This game is no different.

Since the number has climbed to 17 at MGM, the early bettor on New England now can wager on Houston for the same price, getting 17 points with the hope of winning both wagers, known in the trade as the middle.

New England's offensive success will hinge on their ability to limit Texans pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney.

"He was huge for me", New England defensive back Devin McCourty said.

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