Sports

Heavy favourite Patriots host Texans in divisional round

TEXANS (10-7) at PATRIOTS (14-2)

Saturday, 8:15 p.m. EST, CBS

OPENING LINE — Patriots by 13 1/2

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Texans 7-9-1, Patriots 13-3

SERIES RECORD — Patriots lead 7-1

LAST MEETING — Patriots beat Texans 27-0 on Sept. 23, 2016

LAST WEEK — Texans beat Raiders 27-14; Patriots had bye, beat Miami 35-14 in season finale

AP PRO32 RANKING — Texans No. 12, Patriots No. 1

TEXANS OFFENSE — OVERALL (29), RUSH (8), PASS (29)

TEXANS Defence — OVERALL (1), RUSH (12), PASS (2)

PATRIOTS OFFENSE — OVERALL (4), RUSH (7), PASS (4)

PATRIOTS Defence — OVERALL (8), RUSH (3), PASS (12)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Second post-season meeting between teams after Patriots beat Texans 41-28 in divisional round Jan. 13, 2013. ... Patriots are 4-0 against Texans at Gillette Stadium. New England has won past five meetings between teams. . Texans coach Bill O'Brien, Patriots assistant from 2007-2011, is 0-2 against mentor Bill Belichick. . Houston's defence is allowing 301.3 total yards and 17 first downs per game, fewest in NFL in both categories. ... DE Jadeveon Clowney had interception in his first career playoff game last week. Including playoffs, he has four tackles for loss, three sacks, interception and forced fumble in his past four games. ... LB Whitney Mercilus had two sacks and three tackles for loss in last week's win over Raiders. He has five sacks and six tackles for loss in his past two playoff games. . RB Lamar Miller rushed for touchdown last week. He is looking for fourth straight game with rushing TD. . In regular season Miler ranked sixth in AFC with 1,073 rush yards, seventh-most rush yards in single season in franchise history. . CB A.J. Bouye had INT and four pass defences last week. .Belichick will coach his 14th divisional playoff game and tie Don Shula for most in NFL history. He has 23 career post-season wins, most for any coach. . QB Tom Brady will play in his 13th divisional playoff game, tying Jerry Rice for most in league history. . Brady has 22 career playoff wins, most for quarterback in NFL history. He is also NFL post-season leader in career completions (738), attempts (1,183), passing yards (7,957) and touchdown passes (56). . RB LeGarrette Blount led NFL with franchise-record 18 rushing TDs during regular season. He has seven rushing TDs in five career post-season games and is looking for sixth game in row with rushing TD. . CB Malcolm Butler has INT, six pass defences in his past three playoff games. ... Fantasy Tip: Patriots' offence put up big numbers without Brady in Week 3 shutout. With him, there is good chance it will surpass that production.

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