Houston, just like last year, beat the Bengals in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. This year the game was much closer and instead of playing the Ravens; Houston gets to play New England. Everyone remembers what happened last time these teams met up and it wasn’t pretty. The Patriots won by 4 touchdowns and left all of Houston stunned. Many people expect this game to be the same result. I mean the game is in New England, and Tom Brady is tough to beat in the playoffs. All the signs are pointing to an ugly game in Foxboro on Sunday.
Last week we saw what this offense was missing the past few weeks, Arian Foster. He ran the ball 32 times for 140 yards and also scored the only offensive touchdown of the game. While everyone has been calling for Schaub to be benched, I was calling for Foster to step up and show that he is an elite running back. When he runs the ball well the Texans are very hard to beat. Schaub isn’t Tom Brady or Peyton Manning and he won’t be able to single handedly be able to beat teams. Foster has to have a big day on the ground for Houston to have a chance. The key to beating the Patriots is keeping Tom Brady off the field. You don’t keep him off the field by throwing the ball. Run the ball, control the clock, and make that Patriots offense watch most of the game. That is the key.
Now of course it will be easier said than done because New England is a top 10 defense against the run this season. Foster just had 15 carries for 46 yards last time he needs to do much better than that this go round. I expect Houston to come out and run early and often.
Another key to the game will be getting pressure on Brady. Last time they only sacked him once and he was able to sit in the pocket and just pick apart the defense. Andy Dalton missed a lot of throws last week and had he made them Houston would be watching this game. Brady won’t miss those throws so you have to make him uncomfortable back there.
So if Houston can do these things they have a real shot in this game, if not it will get ugly again. This game will be the biggest hurdle for Houston in the playoffs and this is indeed the “biggest game in franchise history”. With all of that being said here are my predictions.
Schaub: 21-34 243 yards TD
Foster 28 carries 125 yards TD
Johnson 6 catches 90 yards
Defense 3 sacks 2 turnovers
Brady: 24-40 275 yards 3 TD
Ridley 18 carries 75 yards
Defense 2 sacks 2 turnovers
Houston 23 New England 21
About the Author
Written by Dustin Kelver
I am in my Junior year of college at Howard Payne, and I play baseball there. I live in Spring, Texas and have been here for almost 7 years. I love sports and have played all sports competitvely at some point in my life. I want to one day have my own radio show. You can follow me on twitter @CleverKelver