Here’s everything you need to know to watch the playoff matchup:
Date: Saturday, January 14, 2017
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
TV Channel: CBS
Broadcasters: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
Line: Patriots (-15), per OddsShark.com
Matchup to Watch: Tom Brady vs. the Texans defense. If Houston is going to have any sliver of a chance of pulling off what would be a historic upset on the road, it’s going to need to slow down Terrific Tom, who is once again playing at an MVP level.
Fortunately for the Texans, they have one of the best defenses in the NFL, as they finished the season fifth in yards per play allowed, fourth in yards per pass attempt allowed and fifth in Football Outsiders’ pass defense efficiency ratings.
Not only will Houston’s secondary need to be on top of its game, but Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus are going to have to create pressure. Both are capable of causing havoc in the backfield, but doing so against New England’s offensive line–and against Brady, who knows how to get the ball out quickly–is no easy task.
If Clowney and Mercilus can make Brady uncomfortable, then Houston may be able to keep this thing close. But if Brady is able to work with a clean pocket, we’ll be headed for a blowout.