Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/14/14
9 a.m. ET: The Ravens stole the show in Denver on Saturday. Now the Patriots hold all the cards looking ahead to the AFC Championship Game. Tom Brady, who threw four touchdowns against the Texans in their first meeting (a 42-14 New England win), will be looking to manhandle Houston’s secondary again, but he knows J.J. Watt and company aren’t willing to just lie down and take the beating. The Patriots’ defense could also face some trouble against this potent Texans attack. Arian Foster, who was held to just 45 yards on the ground last time out, tore up the Bengals for 174 total yards last weekend, and the talented running back has all the intentions of more big runs inside Gillette Stadium.  Vince Wilfork, Brandon Spikes and the rest of the Patriots’ front seven may have something to say about that, but it will be a major determining factor in this epic battle. Foster’s success will dictate quarterback Matt Schaub’s ability to run effective play-action passes and increase wide receiver Andre Johnson’s chances of getting open down the field. The X-factor for both sides will lie with the tight ends, though. Rob Gronkowski, who missed the first meeting with a broken forearm, is back and ready to contribute at 100 percent, while Owen Daniels has eyes for another big day similar to his nine-catch performance last Saturday. And, thanks to the Broncos losing, the winner of this game will host the AFC Championship. There are plenty of storylines to follow, but don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered. Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m., but we’ll have all your news, notes and analysis on everything Patriots popping off right here all day long. So, keep it locked with the NESN.com live blog, and stay up to date on everything Patriots. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eric Berry 'doing well' after finishing cancer treatments

WATCH: Blatt has special message for LeBron

Shaq once threatened to murder Kobe Bryant

Bryce Harper: Mike Trout is the best player in baseball

Report: Wilson skipped OTAs to attend funeral with Graham

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Antonio Brown on contract: 'I've got enough' money

Kaepernick posts insensitive joke about Houston floods

50 Cent’s boxing company files for bankruptcy

Rangers-Lightning Game 6: Prediction for elimination game

Phillies GM says team's fans 'don't understand the game’

Adrian Peterson reportedly has considered retirement

FIFA officials arrested, to be extradited to US for corruption

WATCH: LeBron throws down huge dunk from inside FT line

Nick Saban says he caught 6-foot, 180-pound fish

WATCH: Vin Scully tells story about Gomes being attacked by wolf

WATCH: Kris Bryant launches home run off scoreboard

Transfer rumors: Drogba, Pirlo and Gomez linked to MLS

Robinson Cano's slump: The good news, the bad news

Joe Maddon unhappy over Cubs’ ‘awkward schedule’

Buck Showalter takes shot at Marlins over management

UGA wants SEC to ban transfers with 'serious misconduct' issues

Cavs' Kevin Love cleared to travel with team

Four crazy stats from the NBA Playoffs thus far

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

Transfer rumors: Drogba, Pirlo and Gomez linked to MLS

Cano's slump: The good news, bad news

Disappointments of the MLB season

UGA wants SEC to ban transfers with misconduct issues

Long's great reaction to Bears releasing McDonald

Crazy stats from the NBA Playoffs

WATCH: Curry leaves game after nasty fall

Royals' Guthrie sets records in blowout

Bears cut McDonald after incident

Report: Pierce could opt out of contract

The Talented Mr. Blatt

Is Dellavedova a dirty player?

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.