Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Five reasons the Patriots will win Sunday

Revenge is a dish best served cold. The Houston Texans no doubt are looking for for some revenge for the week 14 beating they took at the hands of the New England Patriots. While the Texans may be looking for revenge, the Patriots will likely come out on top again. Here's why:

  • Rob Gronkowski: Gronk didn't play in the 42-14 ass-whooping that the Pats laid on Houston early in December. He likely won't be blocking at 100%, but his legs are fine. His huge catching radius will be a target for Tom Brady in the red zone.
  • The Pats take away the one thing you want to do: The Pats are tough up the middle, with Vince Wilfork anchoring the middle, and Brando Spikes behind him at linebacker stuffing the run. They'll neutralize Arian Foster enough to put the game in Matt Shaub's hands. Which brings us to...
  • Matt Shaub isn't that good: Shaub is a fine QB, but he simply won't be able to match Tom Brady throw for throw for 60 minutes. Which is more likely: Shaub throws for 400+ yards and out duels Brady, or he throws for 280 or so with a couple of picks? 
  • Jerod Mayo will be used differently: Mayo brought blitz pressure vs. Shaub in the regular season. Odds are that the staff on Route 1 will have a different game plan for Mayo, switching up any blocking schemes that Houston has in place based on the last meeting. Perhaps Mayo's the guy who'll mirror Foster. 
  • Belichick: The Hoodie will have some smoke, mirrors, and magic cooked up for the New England defense that will mask anything Shaub has prepared for. He'll have ways for Donte Hightower to be more of a difference, Chandler Jones to be applying more pressure, or he'll come at you with some unknown, like Justin Francis. 

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