The impression from the 5-3 Patriots start is they ate in a position to get on a roll. However, one question still haunts the Patriots, "Can the Patriots beat physical teams?"There are back to back home games in December against the top AFC team, the Houston Texans, and the following week they meet the NFC brass San Francisco 49ers.Before those two games the Patriots play Buffalo, Indianapolis, New York, and Miami.They have beat Buffalo and New York and Miami is always a tough match up. Indianapolis is a surprise at 6-3, but they aren't a power team.The Texans are made in the NFC mold. They are a big physical team that like to pound a team silly with their run game. They play a attacking 3-4 defense run by Wade Phillips, and JJ Watt their stud defensive end is in the running for defensive player of the year.The 49ers are a rough and tumble group led by Jim Harbaugh and their defense is fierce. Also a 3-4, Patrick Willis in the middle and Dashon Gholdson at safety are crushing playmakers. Both the Texans and 49ers play big and fast, and has the ability to rush four and drop seven.The New York Giants exposed the Patriots offense during the 2011 regular season, and then again in the super bowl. The rise of power teams in the NFC allows the Patriots a passage to the super bowl with the exception of Houston. Playing these two team will clearly tell Patriots fans how tough has the offense has gotten, or if they are still the same finesse team.