With the official start of the New England Patriots’ playoff run beginning on Saturday night, fans brace themselves and prepare as the Houston Texans come to Foxborough to face off against the Patriots. Bill Belichick will be seeing the return of several old friends including Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien.
Power Rankings: Playoff addition
QB Rankings:: Who’s riding highest into the playoffs?
Patriots’ News: Praise Scarnecchia but don’t forget Cabrera
Patriots’ News: Bennett a Patriot beyond this season?
Patriots’ News: Patriots’ opponents: See you in the championship game
Bill O’Brien was on the Patriots’ coaching staff before departing to Penn State in 2012. Serving on the Patriots’ staff from 2007-2011, O’Brien learned under Bill Belichick and with Houston facing off against New England on Saturday, it will truly be Master vs. Pupil in a rematch of Week 3.
This matchup between the Patriots and the Texans is a whole different animal than the Week 3 New England blowout of the Texans. While the New England Patriots put on a clinic in the Week 3 27-0 shutout of the Texans, the New England squad was shorthanded. Not only did the Patriots not have Tom Brady, who was still serving his Deflategate suspension, backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was injured. Rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett got his first start and played mistake free football.
The rematch of Week 3 will see Tom Brady and the Patriots in their first playoff game since the disappointing end to last season with the loss in the AFC Championship game to the future Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos. The rematch between the Patriots and Texans should be a good and unpredictable game.
Other notable Houston Texans’ coaches and players returning to Foxborough include former Patriots’ defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, Ex-Patriots’ linebacker Mike Vrabel and the much beloved big man on the Texans’ defensive line Vince Wilfork. You could say that the Houston Texans have become the New England Patriots of the Midwest as far as coaches and players go.
The real question remains as to who will be the head coach that comes out on top, Bill Belichick or Bill O’Brien. Certainly the odds favor Bill Belichick given his resume and overall superior team but one can never write off a game as a win. Expect to see a motivated Bill O’Brien and company show up on game day to try to best Bill Belichick and the Patriots.