Originally Posted by Foxboro Steve
I posted my 5 reasons the Pats will win over on my blog, if you guys want to read it. The link is here.
The Pats take away the one thing you want to do: The Pats are tough up the middle, with Vince Wilfork anchoring the middle, and Brando Spikes behind him at linebacker stuffing the run. They'll neutralize Arian Foster enough to put the game in Matt Shaub's hands. Which brings us to...
As far as the running game goes, I think we'll be successful for two reasons.
- We get Newton back
Derek Newton, though just a 7th rounder had been playing very well & just getting to "gel" with our OL. He was hurt week 10 & sat out against the Pats. He's back. Not only is he back, he's healthy. He's had three games to get back in the swing of things & our game vs the Bengals is evidence.
- Ben Jones is a bad man
A lot of us are anxious to see Brandon Brooks play RG and manhandle Vince Wilfork... or at least provide more than a speed-bumps worth of resistance. But Ben Jones has been playing very well & gives us something Brooks does not.
An increased athleticism that allows him to get to the second level in a variety of different ways. Again, watch the Bengals' game & see how many different ways Jones was able to get to the second level & take out the smaller LBs.
Vince Wilfork is a beast, but ask any Pats fan, that strength of their run defense is their all-SEC LB squad. We need to attack those LBs to have success in the run game.
As far as Gronk goes. Jjo is back & he's healthy. Jjo played week 14, but he was not healthy. He was in & out of the game & we had guys most of us didn't know relieving him. Now, Jjo is playing the best ball he's played all year & he will shut down one receiver. Kjax is playing like an All-pro & he'll shut down the other side.
Gronk & the slot receiver will be playing against our LBs, safeties, & Brandon Harris. It'll be 5 on two (Ruud, James, Quin, Manning, Harris vs Gronk & the slot). Gronk & the slot (Welker probably) will get there yards, they'll make their plays, but they're not going to be blowing the top off of anything. They'll have to earn their yards this time.
I'm not predicting a Texans' win though I am hopeful. We will win outright, or at least cover the spread.