Originally written on Foxboro Blog  |  Last updated 11/16/14
The Patriots opened as 9.5-point favorites as they host the Houston Texans in the Divisional Round of the AFC playoffs. Let’s get past the obvious – the Pats made the Texans look like a JV squad a few weeks ago. That game happened. It’s over. The Pats don’t start out with a four-TD lead just because they won by that margin a month ago. And just because they stomped this team once does not automatically mean that they will do so again. Most folks in the media and the betting public seem to ignore these facts, but you do so at your own peril. We know that the Patriots should be able to put a respectable number of points on the board. The Texans have a solid defense in their base package, but when you spread them out, they look more like the Jets (i.e. a hopeless bumbling mess). They also did not adjust well to New England’s up-tempo offense the first time around. However, that experience could be useful for the upcoming game and is not necessarily a precursor of things to come. Unless they Pats get a few timely turnovers or big plays on special teams, it will be difficult to get into the 40s again. The deciding factor will be the ability of the Texans to put points on the board. The Pats’ D has held six of their last seven opponents under 20 points, and Houston has failed to put 20 points on the board in four of their last five. If those trends continue, Houston gets blown out. But given the relative good health and skill of this unit, it’s hard to imagine that happening again. I think the Pats win this game, but I’m not laying more than a TD to any good team. I’m taking the Texans and the points. The Rest of the Playoff Lines Denver (-8.5) vs. Baltimore If you’re picking a team to cover the spread on the road in the playoffs, you have to be confident that that team’s quarterback will not devolve into a steaming pile of ****. Since Joe Flacco currently ranks just a step above steaming pile of **** to begin with, I can’t get on board. Atlanta (-2.5) vs. Seattle The Seahawks are the darlings of the NFL right now and a trendy Super Bowl pick. You know what usually happens to trendy Super Bowl picks around this time of year? Their weaknesses are exposed when they have to play a second straight game on the road on the opposite coast, this time at 1 o’clock against a team who has a quarterback with two fully functioning knees. Green Bay (+2.5) @ San Francisco Aaron Rodgers>>>>>Colin Kaepernick. I understand that both teams will field a defense, and the 49ers have the advantage in that respect. But again, Aaron Rodgers. Colin Kaepernick. Don’t get me wrong, I like the kid’s future prospects. But at this stage of their careers, it's hard to get past that.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Athletics trade Derek Norris to Padres

Dodgers not happy with Padres GM over Matt Kemp trade

Mario Balotelli banned match for offensive Instagram post

Marc Trestman: Benching Jay Cutler could revive QB's career

Rob Gronkowski jokes about Tom Brady saying he's grown up

Rajon Rondo traded to Mavs for three players, picks

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Washington Post has perfect description for Titans-Jaguars

Wilbon angry at DC for not supporting Wizards

Urban Meyer says Tim Tebow still wants to play in the NFL

Keenan Lewis: Saints preparing 'funeral' for Falcons

Chris Christie defends being a Cowboys fan

Celtics co-owner: 2024 Olympics would be 'boon for Beantown'

Five most underpaid NFL players of 2014 season

Extremely rare set of Air Jordan 7s selling for $45,000

Five reasons why Alabama will win College Football Playoff

Hugh Freeze proud of Ole Miss’ record 2.57 team GPA

Youngstown St. addresses Bo Pelini's profanity-laced rant

It's been almost 40 years since NFL's last untelevised game

The NHL has finally fined a player for diving

Ben Roethlisberger: Le’Veon Bell is having an MVP season

Jim Harbaugh comments on the reported offer from Michigan

Michael Jordan's college Converse shoes sell for $33,387

Week 16 NFL game watchability rankings

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Most underpaid NFL players in 2014

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Andrew Hawkins, other athletes gain support for social statement attire

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.