One major reason the New England Patriots received a bye into this weekend's AFC divisional playoffs is their dominant performance in a rout of the Houston Texans last month.
Tom Brady and the league's highest-scoring team are heavily favored to do the same when these clubs meet Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
Houston (13-4) seemed on track for the conference's top seed through most of the season before blowing that opportunity by losing three of its final four games, starting with a 42-14 defeat at New England on Dec. 10.
Brady threw touchdown passes on the first three drives for the high-powered Patriots (12-4), who bolted to a 21-0 lead and nullified the Texans' ability to control the game on the ground through Arian Foster.
"We know that our effort and how we performed last time wouldn't give us a chance against anybody on the road," Houston coach Gary Kubiak said. "It's about right now refocusing on all the things we have to do to go down there and have a chance to be successfu...