Originally posted on Patriots Extra  |  Last updated 1/8/13
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Florida's Chiozza sends Wisconsin home on incredible buzzer-beater

LaVar Ball gets Crying Jordan, meme treatment after UCLA loss

Celtics upset Suns tried to pad Devin Booker’s stats

Five teams that may be interested in Blake Griffin this summer

Report: Tony Romo ‘believes it’s Texans or retirement’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Clay Matthews Sr. passes away at 88

WWE’s Kane is inching toward running for mayor in Tennessee

Jung Ho Kang denied visa for DUI, may miss 2017 MLB season

Jets not ready to say Josh McCown will be starter

Sens owner on Sidney Crosby: He’s 'a whiner' and should be suspended for Methot slash

Report: Griffin could be growing more open to leaving Clippers

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker