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
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Magic to bench Victor Oladipo, start Channing Frye

10 unheralded NFL players set to make a major impact in Week 12

Top 10 matchups for Week 12 of the NFL season

Tyrann Mathieu says Blaine Gabbert has a ‘better grip on what’s going on’

NCAA frees Kansas blue chipper Cheick Diallo

Rockets hold in-season training camp in attempt to rebound from disastrous start


Kansas City Chiefs: No Jamaal Charles, no problem

How the Warriors can win 72 games

Frank Gifford suffered from CTE, family announces

Syracuse basketball gets one scholarship per year back

LeBron James says his back feels better than it did a year ago

Sean Payton on firing Rob Ryan: Status quo ‘would be madness’

5 outrageous predictions for Week 12 of the NFL season

How the Detroit Lions became the face of football on Thanksgiving Day

The 10 most disappointed fan bases of the 2015 college football season

Jimmy Butler wants Mason Plumlee to pay his $2,500 fine

Jose Bautista's bat flip inspires a holiday sweater

The Kristaps Porzingis comparison project

What’s next for Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns?

Gisele Bundchen asks Tom Brady ‘all the time’ why he still plays football

Highlighting the biggest NFL games of Week 12

Greg Olsen calls Jason Witten 'the epitome of a pro'

Are Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux growing apart?

Stop sleeping on Giannis Antetokounmpo

Worst-case scenarios for end of college football season

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 matchups for Week 12 of the NFL season

The 10 most disappointed fan bases of the 2015 CFB season

Gronk: Takes mental toughness not to overeat on Thanksgiving

Blue Jays fans create website in effort to keep David Price

The five most overrated teams in the Week 13 coaches' poll

10 storylines for Week 13 of the college football season

Ranking the 10 best games of 2015 college football rivalry week

Examining the Mavericks' hot start

Johnny Bench(ed): Manziel demoted to third string

Mike Trout, four years in

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker