With everyone being all high and mighty on the New England Patriots nowadays, I think it's important that we pump the breaks and take a serious look at the situation. Most people (including myself) were rooting for a rematch with the Houston Texans. What I wasn't expecting, was a majority of people thinking that the Pats will spank the Texans like they did last time. I truly believe that the Patriots will move on to the AFC Championship, but the game won't be as easy as many people think. Unfortunately, flashbacks of the 2010 season keep creeping into my head. When Tom Brady and the rest of the crew embarrassed the New York Jets on Monday Night Football only to then be upset by them in the divisional round.

In 2010, the Patriots seemed unstoppable. Brady's MVP season and a surging offense made us all believe that they would cruise their way to the Super Bowl. There was even more joy when we found out that they would be playing the Jets, who were routed by the Pats on MNF only a few weeks prior.

Super Bowl hopes were shattered in a game that didn't feel right from the start. Brady threw an interception on the first drive, ending his streak that traced back to Week five of the regular season (an NFL record). It was a tough loss to swallow and even harder to get over.

Moving on from the bitterness, I simply advise all Patriots fans to look at this upcoming game with caution. I would love to see them thrash the Texans again, but realistically I see this game being fairly difficult. In fact, I think the Texans will want revenge and come out hot.

There are 23 Patriots on the current roster that played in the Divisional Round loss to the Jets. I can guarantee you that all of those players, especially Brady, understand that this match-up cannot and will not be taken lightly.

The 23 player are...

CB Kyle Arrington
QB Tom Brady
WR Deion Branch
S Patrick Chung
G Dan Connolly
DE Jermaine Cunningham
DL Brandon Deaderick
TE Rob Gronkowski
TE Aaron Hernandez
DL Kyle Love
G Logan Mankins
LB Jerod Mayo
DB Devin McCourty
P Zoltan Mesko
DE Rob Ninkovich
WR Matthew Slater
LB Brandon Spikes
RT Sebastian Vollmer
WR Wes Welker
C Ryan Wendell
LB Tracy White
DL Vince Wilfork
RB Danny Woodhead


In the end though, this Patriots team is different than the 2010 squad. There is a more solid running game to complement the passing attack. The development of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez really blends well with Wes Welker in the passing game. Also, although Brandon Lloyd hasn't been the serious deep-threat that the Patriots were hoping for, he's proved himself to be a great player who can make some crazy catches. The Patriots defense ranks similar in 2012 as it did in 2010, but I know I'm not the only one who feels as though this year's unit is more primed to make big plays and step up in crunch time.

Anthony Aidonidis 1/07/2013 02:15:00 PM Edit

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