This year has been historic, with the start of the season seeing replacement referees, and parity having struck the NFL. Now at the end of the season we have four supremely talented players all within reach for historic numbers.
Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots Matchups: Tom Brady, Wes Welker and Patriots Offense vs. J.J. Watt and Texans Defense
The New England Patriots welcome The Houston Texans to a rainstorm in Gillette Stadium on Monday Night Football. This match of the top two teams in the AFC is a possible preview of the AFC Championship. On Monday, the fate of home field advantage through the playoffs could be decided. The Patriots trail the Texans for home field advantage in the playoffs, and a win would put them closer to taking that advantage, and having this contest at home has to be comforting, despite the 80% chance of rain and high wind on Monday night.
Tom Brady and Weapons vs. The Secondary
Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots Matchups: Arian Foster, Andre Johnson Texans Offense vs. Patriots Defense
The Houston Texans prepare to travel to Gillette Stadium and face The New England Patriots in a huge playoff preview on Monday Night Football. The Patriots are happy to have this game at home, in what could be the tiebreaker for home field advantage. The Texans are the one of the leagues best road teams, and will not be intimidated against Tom Brady or the bad weather. A win for Houston would give them a 2 game lead with 3 games left in the season.
Arian Foster vs. The Front Seven
The Texans offense focuses on a power running game lead by Arian Foster. Foster leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns, and is 5th in yardage, trailing Adrian Peterson by 344 yards. Foster is only 36 yards behind Marshawn Lynch for 2nd, and facing 29th ranked Patriots rushing defense he will be looking for a big day. Foster is a bigger back with a violent running style and great speed, all traits that should help if this is a rainy game in Foxboro. Houston runs more out of two tight end sets than anyone in the league, using it to both pound the power run, and work down the field to their tight ends on play action.
NFL Week 14 Matchups: AJ Green, Andy Dalton-Led Cincinnati Bengals Offense vs. Dallas Cowboys Defense
The Cincinnati Bengals welcome The Dallas Cowboys into Paul Brown Stadium on a wet and rainy Sunday. The Bengals come into this contest tied for the final wildcard playoff spot, and need a win to keep pace with the Steelers and Colts for a chance at the payoffs. While the Cowboys are facing a must win, behind the Giants by one game, and looking at winning the NFC East as their most likely playoff scenario.
Dalton vs. the secondary
Andy Dalton has been arguably the best quarterback in the AFC North this year. Working with fellow second-year player AJ Green, and standout tight end Jemaine Gresham, the Bengals has established a potent passing game. Using the double coverage Green is now used to seeing, Dalton has time after time used Green to extend the defense deep, and hit Gresham or wide receiver Andrew Hawkins on deep under routes. The Cowboys are a little thin in the secondary, and have struggled all season.
Dallas will travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals in a battle of teams on the playoff bubble. This will be a wet and rainy game on the field turf of Paul Brown Stadium, and the weather will probably hinder the offenses. Both of these offenses are hot, and we will see if a little rain will hold back Andy Dalton or Tony Romo.
Romo vs. the secondary
Dallas sits one game out of the lead in the NFC East, and with a difficult schedule facing them, this weeks game against the Bengals may be a must win for the Cowboys playoff hopes. The Cowboys are 3-1 in their last 4, and Tony Romo and Dez Bryant have been lighting fires throughout opposing secondaries in those weeks. Bryant has 6 touchdowns on 29 catches for 475 yards in that span.