The 11-1 Houston Texans have been touting Monday Night’s matchup with the Patriots at Gillette as one of the biggest games in franchise history.
Given the way things played out on Sunday, the game could be just as big — if not bigger — for the Patriots in terms of what it means for the upcoming playoffs.
With the Baltimore Ravens falling to the Washington Redskins on Sunday, the two-seed in the AFC is up for grabs between the Patriots and Denver Broncos. Should the Patriots win their remaining four games, they would clinch the two-seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs.
“It seems like every time we have a chance to step away, and sit there and watch the rest of the league, it rejuvenates your thinking that this team has it over all of them,” Scott Zolak said of the Patriots Monday morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh & Zolak ““In Baltimore, it’s two rookies that found a way to get it done. Then you see Pittsburgh get their asses handed to them. You feel great coming out of (yesterday), and everything is lining up (for the Patriots).”
But if the Patriots lose on Monday, the playoff waters would get a lot murkier for them.
“If they lose, and we haven’t talked about that much, if the Patriots don’t find a way to win this game it goes to the back of our heads, and we’re thinking maybe this team is just in the group of teams in the AFC that has a chance to win it, rather than being a favorite to win it,” said Andy Gresh.
The forecast calls for showers all day leading up and throughout the game. How will this come into play with Houston, a dome team, going against the Patriots, who don’t seem to mind bad weather games — especially at Gillette Stadium.
“This New England team has been through this here; they like to play in bad weather,” said Zolak. “Offensively, I think they crank it up another notch if the conditions continue the way they’re supposed to throughout the day. I think it’s spread it out, hurry up so they don’t know where we’re going.”
“I think Aaron Hernandez is huge tonight,” continued Zo. “They’ll be concentrating on Welker, and then Lloyd has to find a way to get his on the outside,” added Zo. “But the bottom line, Aaron Hernandez – you ride his back tonight.”