Both the Patriots and the Texans have solid defensive teams; which will be the main focus in this match up.
The Texans give up only 301.3 yards per game, while the Patriots give up 326.4 yards. However, the Patriots defense gives up only 15.6 points per game, while the Texans give up 19.2 points per game.
The bad news for the Texans is what the two teams total points per year show. Totaling the offensive & defensive points this year, the Texans had a deficit 49 scoring points. The Patriots total offensive & defensive points, has them at a plus 191 scoring points. The Patriots offense should be the deciding factor in this game.
Earlier this year the two teams squared off with Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel game planning against Patriots rookie QB Jacoby Brissett. The Patriots won 27-0 at Gillette Stadium, with the help of 3 Texans turnovers.
This time Crennel, a former Patriots defensive coordinator, will face a Patriots offense led by Tom Brady. Crennel's defensive scheme will be VERY different on Saturday night, knowing he will not be trying to confuse a rookie QB.
Texans coach Bill O'Brien was also on the Patriots coaching staff, and understands Tom Brady's thought process. So together the two coaches have "inside" knowledge about the Patriots game preparations.
The Patriots offense will need to know where Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus are on every play. The offensive line should have success running the ball to set-up the passing game. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels should have a good understanding of what Texans coaches, O'Brien and Crennel, know about the Patriots' offense.
This game will be a "chess match" by the two coaching staffs. Field position and turnovers will be important, as they always are in playoff games.
Patriots RB Dion Lewis and WR Michael Floyd will have major rolls in this contest, along with strong offensive line play. Patriots get the home field 3 points.
New England Patriots -27 Houston Texans- 13