This game has huge playoff implications for both teams. The Texans (11-1) and Patriots (9-3) currently hold the top two seeds in the AFC. But the Baltimore Ravens (9-3) and Denver Broncos (9-3) also are vying for the top two seeds, which includes a first-round bye.
There are great matchups all over the field in this game. Can Houston quarterback Matt Schaub out-duel Patriots quarterback Tom Brady? Will New England’s secondary shut down Houston Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson? Will Texans standout defensive end J.J. Watt be a disruptive force?
The winner of Monday’s Patriots-Texans game likely will be the favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl in February. ESPN.com AFC East blogger James Walker (@ESPN_AFCEast) and AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky (@ESPN_AFCSouth) discussed the various angles Wednesday on Twitter.