Curran's Patriots-Texans Preview: Can Pats get back to .500? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
So far this season, the Texans are 2-7. The only team they’ve beaten – twice – is the Jacksonville Jaguars. Obviously, they aren’t good. But one less discussed aspect to their record? They’ve played a daunting schedule. Take out those two wins over the 1-8 Jags and the other seven opponents are a combined 46-17. They are all but mathematically eliminated from playoff contention and are a team in flux/turmoil.
How much fight do they still have? Probably not as much as the Patriots, who don’t have much wiggle room themselves. At 4-5, they are in third in the AFC East by two games trailing the 6-3 Dolphins and 7-3 Bills. As for the Wild Card, six teams are at 6-3, so they’re two games out there as well.
Last week’s prime-time win over the Ravens put wind back in their playoff sails a little bit. But they can’t stub their toe in Houston. Fortunately, they are facing a team that has a deadly combo of sins – the Texans can’t run the ball and they can’t stop the run.