Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots
Tip-off: Monday, December 10, 2012 – 8:30 PM ET
Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
The Houston Texans could really make their YouWager fans proud and prove they’re the team to beat this week since they have a two-game lead on the rest of the AFC.
However, the New England Patriots aren’t really ready to concede the conference they’ve represented in the Super Bowl five times in the last 11 years.
These NFL teams each bring a six-game winning streak into tonight’s showdown in Foxborough, where the Texans will put its unblemished road record on the line against the AFC East champions.
Houston (11-1) and New England (9-3) have met only three times before — once the home of the Patriots, where the Texans lost 40-7 in 2006 — but a new rivalry could be about to develop, with the chance of a more important matchup in the upcoming playoffs.
With four NFL games still to play, the Texans already have set a single-season franchise record with 11 victories following last Sunday’s 24-10 victory versus the Tennessee Titans. Matt Schaub threw a pair of touchdown passes and DE J.J.Watt had two sacks along with his 14th and 15th passes defensed, giving him more than twice as many as any other defensive lineman.
The Texans have allowed an average of 352.0 passing yards the last three weeks, a troubling trend before facing the Patriots high-powered attack.
Online sports betting experts consider New England’s offense was somewhat quiet last weekend, but the team still beat the Miami Dolphins 23-16 to clinch its ninth division title in 10 years. Brady threw his first interception in six games and the Patriots gained a season-low 321 yards, but their 26th-ranked defense held Mimai to 277.
With the Pats already adjusting to tight end Rob Gronkowski’s absence, wide receiver Julian Edelman was lost for the season last week due to a foot injury. New England re-signed receiver Donte’ Stallworth on Tuesday.
A victory would pull the Patriots within one game of the Texans while also giving them the tiebreaker, while a defeat would all but lock up the No. 1 seed for Houston, who would then have victories over all the other division leaders in the conference.