Previewing the Patriots potential Divisional Round opponents

The Patriots’ did what they set out to do and did it to perfection. The Patriots defeated the Miami Dolphins by a final score of 35-14 thus claiming the #1 seed in the AFC. What remains to be seen however is whom the Patriots will play on Saturday January 14th. The road to the Super Bowl will go through Foxboro as long as the Patriots get by the divisional round. It would be a huge upset if one of these teams beats the Patriots in Gillette Stadium. While there are some dangerous low seed teams out in the NFC, the AFC is certainly not the case. If the Patriots just show up and “Do their jobs” they should have no problem against the following teams.

 

Houston Texans

 

Last times these teams met Jacoby Brissett was the starting QB for New England. This was only cause Jimmy Garoppolo went down with injury and Tom Brady was still serving his deflate-gate suspension. The Patriots went on to beat the Texans in a 27-0 shutout. Brock Osweiler was left shaking his head all night including when ex Patriot Jamie Collins picked him off. It was also a big night for running back LeGarrette Blount scoring two touchdowns and rushed for 104 yards.

 

The Texans are now without J.J Watt leaving a huge hole on defense. You just can’t replace a J. J Watt. It’s not possible. There have been players that stepped up but this Houston defense isn’t the same when it’s without Watt in the lineup.

 

The Texans are actually very fortunate to be in the position their in. The Tennessee Titans were on a late season surge till week 16 when injury struck quarterback Marcus Mariota. That injury alone derailed any chance of the Titans winning the AFC South.

 

Patriots should be able to romp this team with ease. It doesnt’t matter if the quarterback is Tom Savage or Brock Osweiler. Brady will pick apart this defense and Blount should be able to run wild again despite the Texans having 325 pound Vince Wilfork clog the middle.

 

 

Oakland Raiders

 

With the quarterback position in doubt against their matchup with the Texans on Saturday, the Raiders will turn to Connor Cook.

 

Who?…. Exactly.

 

The Raiders lost both of their top two quarterbacks on their depth chart leaving Cook to do it all by himself come Saturday in Houston. Even if they the beat Houston, do we really give the Raiders a real shot?

 

Sure they have stars on offense like Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper with Latavius Murray as the tailback but that part doesn’t worry me. The only thing that worries me about the Raiders is not having much of a look on Cook’s in game ability. The rookie was drafted in the 4th round this year and come out of Michigan Sate and is a virtual unknown.

 

Hmm who was the quarterback drafted out of Michigan in the late rounds that turned out to be the NFL’s best QB of all time? Can’t think of him

 

Obviously that was TB12, but that story is only happening once in a lifetime folks and Connor Cook is no Tom Brady.

 

The Raiders defense improved big time this year with huge performances from Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin and Malcolm Smith. Throwing the ball in the middle of the field too much could pose problems for the Patriots especially against those stars on defense.

 

In the end the Patriots should end up beating the Raiders rather easily. Even if 2nd string QB Matt McGloin is back in time if they advance and meet the Patriots, the ship set sail once MVP of the team Derek Carr went out with injury.

 

Miami Dolphins

 

This is the team that actually scares me the most. No I’m not kidding. When you a play a division foe 3 times, and you beat them twice already the 3rd time is always the hardest one to get.

 

The starting QB injury bug also came around to bite the Dolphins as Ryan Tannehill went out with injury with a sprained ACL/MCL. Tannehill would probably be back in time for a game against New England if the Dolphins can defeat the steel curtain in Pittsburgh. For now though, Matt Moore in all likelihood will play against the Steelers.

 

Dolphins have many different weapons on offense such as rising stars DaVante Parker and Jay Ajayi along with reception machine Jarvis Landry. On defense, this unit is underrated and hits hard especially with guys like Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh. This is a defense I don’t want to play against especially against Suh cause he can take out and injure anybody on the football field.

 

All that said, the Patriots should cruise to another victory over the Dolphins if they were to meet again. It would be the toughest out of the 3 matchups in my opinion just cause they know each other so well. However that shouldn’t matter in game of this circumstance against the most inexperienced team in the NFL playoffs this year.

 

 

Whoever advances to Gillette better get ready for the apocalypse. The storm that is Tom Brady is coming. With the Pats looking as good as they have been all season long, it’ll be a long flight home for the losing team. If somehow one of these teams were to beat the Patriots inside their house and make me look like an idiot, this would be the one of the most disappointing seasons in Patriots history given the success and unity of this team. It would be a sick joke if something were to go wrong now. This is why they fought for the #1 seed though, to have the easiest path to the Super Bowl. It’s all on the Patriots now. No pressure.

 

 

 

 

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