Houston at Foxboro: Tom Terrific or the terrorizing Texans?

If you listen to a lot of sports media — and really, I don’t — then you might think about just skipping Sunday’s AFC divisional title match between the Houston Texans and the New England Patriots. After all, the 12-4 Texans were beaten like a dirty rug in their 42-14 ass-whooping from the Patriots on a Sunday night in December in Foxboro. That’s heavy on the “Patriots,” “Sunday night,” “December” and “Foxboro.” New England is invincible on Sunday nights in December in Foxboro. Not to mention the Patriots ship is piloted by none other than “Tom Terrific” Brady. Why Brady is not only the best quarterback in NFL history. Brady can save young children and puppy dogs from ultimate doom. He is the ultimate, handsome, thoughtful QB of lore.

But one could bet heavy that Terrific is not merely brushing off his trillion-dollar lapels symbolically over the Texans. That is even though a great deal of sports media, even some hometown jock yackers, say Schaub, Foster, Johnson and Watt as well as the rest of the gang are playing with a fork stuck up their collective butts.

Really says though that the best argument to made for Houston’s stature in the NFL is its record. The naysayers say the Texans beat lightweight teams. Horse hockey. Having played and won 12 games is a feat in the big leagues no matter whether you slice it length-wise, cross-wise or julienne.

Some of the same media types who were insisting the Texans would win the Super Bowl this year now say the team is pretenders to the throne. That is mostly due to having lost four games to four, well at least three, very good teams.

Sure, Houston has problems that plague them like all teams. Not nearly enough success in the red zone is one shortfall. Everyone knows the Wade Phillips defense is a holy terror. Brady spent part of his time practicing for Houston last time by having someone wave a tennis racket in front of him to simulate the ball-whumping of monster defensive end J.J. Watt. However, one would have thought Wade left part of his squad at home. One could as well sense a lack of confidence in QB Matt Schaub last week in the win over the Bengals last week. But that wouldn’t seem terribly abnormal since it was his first playoff game. Hopefully he can elevate his confidence this second time around.

Finally, I have seen some great plays out of Houston’s special teams squad. Whereas earlier in the season I would hold my breath a little too long when a kickoff came toward Keshawn Martin. He appears more sure of himself and appears to exercise better judgment on whether he should stay or should he go on kick returns. It’s a good thing to learn for a young special teams returner who plays wide receiver. The rookie out of Michigan State is 5-11, 190. I’d love to be 190 again. Hell, I’d love to be 5-11 again. But when one is running against people who get paid to knock the living donkey dust out of you, Martin definitely can be low hanging fruit.

Rational me thinks New England by a touchdown this Sunday afternoon. The real me believes though. So I believe Houston will upset the Patriots 34-24. We will just have to wait and see how terrific Tom Terrific and his gang of merry men really are against a Texans team who still feels a sting from that beating in December.


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