Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/7/13
After a bye week off, the Patriots now know who their divisional round opponent is — and they should seem pretty familiar. It wasn’t all that lone ago (just under a month, in fact) that the Houston Texans traveled to Gillette Stadium for what was billed as a heavyweight matchup between two Super Bowl contenders. The end result didn’t nearly match the hype, as Tom Brady and the Pats resoundingly thumped Houston 42-14 to solidify their dominance in the AFC, while the Texans stumbled to the finish line thereafter. But despite the fact that New England had so much success last time around, it seems like a pretty tall order to do it again against a team with so many different weapons. Speaking of which, who are those weapons, and who should the Patriots most fear receiving some payback from? First up is obviously Arian Foster, who, if not for one man toiling up in Minnesota, would easily be the gold standard for running backs in the NFL. During the 2012 season Foster just did what he does every year, putting up solid numbers with 1,424 yards and 15 touchdowns on the campaign. Next up clearly comes J.J. Watt, who had an absolute breakout season on the defensive end of the ball, coming into his own as one of the most feared defensive forces in the league. Not that the Patriots don’t know that, as last time Watt visited they prepared for his arrival by using racquetball racquets to simulate his ability to bat down passes. And, last but not least comes Andre Johnson, who remains quarterback Matt Schaub‘s most reliable target. The 31-year-old not only has just about every Texans receiving record in the organization’s brief history, but also ranks second all-time in the NFL in receiving yards per game, behind only Calvin Johnson. So, who makes you the most nervous? Who should the Patriots focus on containing in Sunday’s playoff matchup? Take Our Poll
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