The New England Patriots host the Houston Texans on Sunday as part of the 2013 NFL Divisional playoffs. This will be the second time the two teams meet in just over a month, as Houston visited Foxboro during the regular season. The Pats are hoping for more of the same from that contest.
New England had little trouble with Houston back on Dec. 10, cruising to an easy 42-14 victory over the Texans. That victory helped the Patriots earn a tiebreaker between the two teams that decided who would receive a playoff bye and a home game in the second round.
Houston struggled down the stretch after looking like the best team in the NFL for most of the season. However, they should put up a bigger fight as the stakes are much higher this time around with the winner advancing to the AFC Championship. The Pats won't be getting an assist from the weather against the dome-dwelling Texans. Unusually warm temperatures are expected for kickoff.
Both teams should be healthy for the most part and have their key players intact.
Game time, TV schedule: 4:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Spread: New England favored by 9.5.