Houston – we have a chance: Why the Texans might just beat the Pats
There are plenty of reasons to think that the New England Patriots will win their divisional matchup with the Houston Texans this weekend. One need look no further than the nine point spread put forth by the Vegas experts, to see that the Patriots are expected by most to win this game easily. It would take a very short memory to forget what happened the last time Houston traveled to Gillette Stadium. However, it would take a short memory to forget a few recent similar matchups. Trends have a way of continuing, and if they do continue, many of them point to a Houston victory.
Since their last Super Bowl win, the Patriots are 4-6 against teams they had already faced once during the regular season. Perhaps more telling, the last two post-season opponents to lose at Gillette Stadium during the regular season, both won at Gillette Stadium in the playoffs. (Baltimore in 2009, and New York in 2010)
The Patriots have not had a postseason win against a starting QB with more than 64 career regular season games under his belt since that last Super Bowl win in 2004. 64 seems like a big number, but that’s barely half of the 118 regular season games that Matt Schaub has played in.
The Patriots have lost their last two post-season games played on prime number days of the month. They’ve never won on any January the 13th. (Nor have they ever played a game on January the 13th. This will be a new experience for both teams.) The Patriots were 1-3 this year on dates in the teens. Their only other loss was on a date ending in a 3.
In seasons where there was a 2,000 yard rusher, The Patriots have never won a playoff game against a team that lost, when facing the leagues leading running back. (Adrian Peterson led the Vikings to victory over Houston this year.)
Obscurity will not help the Texans win this game. However, familiarity and experience just might. These are two things this Texans team has, which The Patriots have not fared well against in recent years.
Josh Komon is an NFL writer for TPF and can be contacted at JKomon@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.