FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Greetings from Gillette Stadium, where we are about an hour away from kickoff of what could be the regular-season game of the year.
My sense is that many NFL people are expecting the Patriots to win here, but I'm not going to dismiss the Texans' chances. Win and they are in complete control of home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs. Lose and they could still get it.
Cornerback Johnathan Joseph is back in the lineup. If he's back to healthy, how he does in tracking Wes Welker will be one giant storyline. I'm curious how much linebackers and how much defensive backs will try to cover Aaron Hernandez and the Patriots tight ends.
Brice McCain, who typically comes on the field as the nickel corner, is out now. The third corner will be inexperienced Brandon Harris or newly added Stanford Routt. The Patriots are likely to try to get that guy on the field and throw to whomever is covered by him.
Here are the inactives for both sides:
CB Alan Ball
OLB Brooks Reed