Team looks to advance to AFC Championship Game
The Houston Texans are set for action later this afternoon when they face the Patriots in the AFC Divisional Playoffs. The winner of today’s game advances to the AFC title game next weekend.
Today’s game is a rematch of a Monday Night Football matchup from a month ago, a game the Patriots won by a final of 42-14.
Many experts are giving Andre Johnson’s club almost no chance of pulling off the win, something Johnson really doesn’t care about.
“It doesn’t matter what people say. You got to go out and play the game,” Johnson said. “That’s the only way it gets done. You got to go out and play the game. That’s it.”
Defensive lineman J.J. Watt echoed that sentiment.
“Right now a lot of people are telling us about what we can’t do. I see a lot of guys in the locker room working hard to prove what we can do. Even if it’s us 53 in there believing in it that’s all it takes,” Watt said.
Former NFL Coach Brian Billick knows a thing or two about playoff football. The current FOX Sports analyst won a Super Bowl with the Ravens at the end of the 2000 season. He told KTRH that if the Texans are going to pull off the upset they better keep Tom Brady in check.
“If they let Tom Brady and that offense dictate the pace early, I think Houston is just not built to come from behind and keep up with Brady,” Billick said.
Former Green Bay Packer and current host on sister station Sports Talk 790 Greg Koch told KTRH if the Texans are going to contain Brady, they have to make him uncomfortable this afternoon.
“They’ve got to rush Brady. No quarterback likes to be pressured. Brady is about as immobile as Matt Schaub. They’ve got to get in his face. The pass rush is going to be key,” Koch said on Houston’s Morning News Friday.
Koch thinks getting running back Arian Foster off to a good start is going to be very important this afternoon. Foster had just 46 yards in the first meeting between these two teams this season.
“The offense is geared around the running game. They’ve got to get Arian Foster out of the blocks early because it sets up all of the play action passes,” Koch explained.
At the beginning of last week, there was some thought that the weather would play a factor in the game. However, that isn’t going to be the case. Temperatures are going to be in the 50’s and there isn’t any rain in the forecast. Billick says that will help the Texans, but it will also help the Patriots.
“Tom Brady and his group are going to be on the same field and play under the same conditions. That means it’s going to be a tough day,” Billick explained.
And then there is the matter of the 42-14 loss the Texans suffered in New England a month ago. How much of a factor is that going to be today?
“The regular season is a million miles behind you right now. You have won your first playoff game. You are battle tested. It’s just one game,” Billick stated.
Kickoff is set for 3:30 this afternoon.