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MNF: Texans at Patriots Preview and Predictions

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

It’s hard to believe that a team with a lessor record is favored by 5.5 points to a team that has an 11-1 record. But not many people are willing to bet against the New England Patriots at this point in Tom Brady’s career.

On Monday Night Football, the Pats (9-3) will face the hotter than hot Houston Texans in what’s sure to be a delight. Not only does it features the top two AFC teams in the league, but is figured to be a glimpse at the AFC title game this postseason.

Both teams are especially hot, coming in to tonight’s game. In fact, the Pats and Texans are currently riding a six-game winning streak. And the way this one is matchup up, it figures to be a shootout with Brady and Matt Schaub under center.

Who has the quarterback edge?

Brady has the better passer rating, which ranks fifth best among NFL quarterbacks (102.6) while Schaub is not far behind, ranking ninth in the league (94.5). But Brady has been in the zone the last five games, throwing for 13 touchdowns and just one interception. Moreover, he’s playing on his home turf in Foxboro, which makes him deadly with wideout Wes Welker on the receiving end of his passes.

Though, both teams are due for another offensive outburst, considering the lack of talent on the defensive side of the ball. Houston will role out its defense without Jonathan Joseph, a Pro Bowl caliber defensive back. Without him, the team is poised to give up much more than their 235 passing yards allowed per game average.

Meanwhile, the Pats defense is much worse. The team 29th in the league against the pass, allotting 280 yards per contest. And they’re going to have a tough time covering both Adrian Foster out of the backfield and Andre Johnson as a deep threat.

Still, New England is hard to bet against. In the last 30 regular season games, they have won 28 — best in the NFL.

Pick: New England 38, Houston 31

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