After defeating the Oakland Raiders 27-14 in Saturday’s AFC Wild Card Game, the Houston Texans still were not able to tell who they would face in the next round of the playoffs. After the Pittsburgh Steelers easily handled their business against the Miami Dolphins, the Texans are left as the lowest remaining seed in the AFC Playoff Picture. As the lowest seed, they will travel to Foxborough, Massachusetts next weekend to face the New England Patriots, who are the top seed in the AFC.
There are a couple of interesting storylines to be taken away from this playoff matchup. The first of which is that this will be a rematch of the Texans-Patriots matchup earlier this season in week 4. In that matchup, the Patriots were without quarterback Tom Brady, yet they walked away with a 27-0 victory. Heading into next week’s matchup, the Texans will look to slow down the potential MVP candidate, and will look for a better offensive performance as well.
Another interesting storyline is the familiarity that the coaches of these staffs have with each other. Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien was an assistant coach for the Patriots under Bill Belichick, and current Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel was the Patriots defensive coordinator from 2001-2004, when the Patriots won 3 Super Bowl titles. As the current Defensive Coordinator for the Texans’ top rated defense this season, Crennel will look to have his unit ready to go in a tough road environment.
Looking at the surface of this matchup, there are a lot of tough challenges that the Texans will face as they look to advance to their first AFC Title Game. However, with the top-rated defense, and an offense that showed some life against the Oakland Raiders, the team will present a tough challenge for the New England Patriots. Be sure to continue following Pro Football Spot as we continue to break down this playoff matchup. The Texans and Patriots will kick off their game next Saturday, January 14th, at 7:15pm local time, on CBS.
Jared Wingate is the lead writer for the Houston Texans on Pro Football Spot. He is also a Broadcast Journalism Major. Subscribe and follow him on Twitter @wingate_jared.