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
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia becomes first player ever banned by MLB for PEDs

Eight bold predictions for NBA All-Star Weekend

Iowa athletics department under federal civil rights investigation

2016 Naismith Hall of Fame finalists announced

Hasselbeck ‘strongly leaning towards playing’ in 18th season

Pitchers to wear new protective headwear in spring training

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Klay Thompson: Warriors will shoot for all-time wins record

Bryce Harper 'squashed' beef with Jonathan Papelbon

WWE has record revenue despite perceived troubles

CC Sabathia declares himself ‘ready to go’ after alcohol rehab

Report: Suns still want to deal Morris before trade deadline

Report: Celtics could offer best deal for Dwight Howard

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Is there a place for Aaron Hill with the Brewers?

The market for forwards may shape the NHL trade deadline

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

The most intriguing NBA story lines for the rest of the season

Report: Timberwolves ‘lament’ Andrew Wiggins missing weight-lifting sessions

Kevin Durant to the Warriors makes little sense

City of Atlanta, Braves fighting over iconic Hank Aaron statue

Brock Osweiler hopes to remain part of ‘very special’ Broncos

Kobe Bryant receives great gift from ‘media’ member

Ranking the best NBA/ABA Dunk Contests ever

LeBron to be immortalized with Akron Zips bobblehead

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

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

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