Texans: Texans come into the AFC Playoffs with the 4 seed after winning the AFC South with a 9-7 record. The Texans have had quarterback issues all year as $36M-dollar-man Brock Osweiler was benched a few weeks back and replaced by Tom Savage. However, Savage suffered a concussion yesterday and is likely out for next week’s match-up with the Raiders, so Osweiler will get the start.
The Texans do not look like a playoff team from any angle as they struggle scoring points and moving the ball downfield. The Patriots played the Texans in week three when they pummeled them 27-0 with third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett. If the Patriots draw Houston first round, it would be an ideal situation.
Raiders: The Raiders were once feared as one of the biggest threats to the Patriots in the AFC before Derek Carr broke his leg in Week 16. Matt McGloin has stepped in since the Carr injury and struggled mightily in a Week 17 loss to the Broncos. Will McGloin get the start Saturday or rookie quarterback Connor Cook? The Raiders defense is good enough to make plays and help keep the Texans out of the end zone. But I can’t see this Raiders team coming into New England and winning without # 4 calling the shots.
Dolphins: This match up poses more of a threat to the Patriots in the divisional round than either the Raiders or Texans to me. The Patriots played the Dolphins twice this season. The first ended with a 31-24 win with a combination of Jimmy Garrapollo and Jacoby Brissett in week two. Then another win with Brady in week 17, 35-14.
This potential match up could give the Patriots a game. If the Dolphins come off a huge upset win on the road vs the Steelers, they will be riding high and mighty into Foxboro. QB Ryan Tannehill could return for the Divisional Round. This would be the third time these teams face off, so you can kind of figure out each others offenses and play calling at that point. I wouldn’t panic if the Dolphins came into Foxboro, but it is the scarier matchup within these three teams.