Some links around the Web on the rematch between the Patriots and Texans:
1. Snap Judgments – Patriots should win. In his weekly analysis on NFL games, Don Banks of SI.com shares these thoughts on Patriots-Texans: “Nothing about the Texans' win on Saturday gave us a lot of confidence Gary Kubiak's team will be prepared for the much bigger test that awaits next Sunday against New England. The Patriots, of course, crushed the Texans 42-14 in Foxboro on Monday night of Week 14, and a case can be made that Houston has never fully recovered its self-confidence in the wake of that primetime beating. Rest assured, four field goals and one touchdown won't get it done against the Patriots, as it did against the anemic Bengals offense. Counting Saturday's win, Houston is now 4-4 this season against teams that made the playoffs, with recent road losses at New England and at Indianapolis. The Texans should be more prepared for the Patriots thanks to their recent meeting, but will anyone like their chances of closing the 28-point gap that existed between the teams five weeks ago? Not me."
2. More Judgments in favor of Patriots. Clark Judge, who covers the NFL for CBSSports.com, also likes the Patriots. “I don't care what the line is for the Houston-New England game (and it's 9.5 points) it can't be high enough,” he writes.
3. Wilfork and All-Pro teams. Lots of respect for defensive lineman Vince Wilfork on media-based All-Pro teams, with Sports Illustrated's Peter King and CBSSports.com Pete Prisco among those tabbing him as one of two players at his position. CBSSports.com also had quarterback Tom Brady as its pick.
4. McDaniels and head coaching jobs. Peter King of SI.com, in his widely-read “Monday Morning Quarterback” piece, shares thoughts on why Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels isn’t pursuing head-coaching jobs. “McDaniels and his wife just had their fourth child in December, and he's happy with the Patriots, and he absolutely doesn't want to move his family for the third straight year (Denver to St. Louis to the Boston 'burbs), even if it meant he'd have a chance to coach his hometown Browns,” King writes. “He loves his lot in life now, coaching Tom Brady and coaching under Bill Belichick; why leave? I also think McDaniels understands the most important thing about the situation he's in: After being run out of Denver, he may get only one more chance at being a head coach, and so he wants to be sure the next time (if there is a next time) he steps into a place he knows he has a good chance to win.”
5. Texans defense picks up steam. Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. notes that the Texans’ defense solved some issues Saturday against the Bengals, but that facing the Patriots is an entirely different test (Insider content).
6. Brady third in QB rankings. ESPN’s Ron Jaworski wraps up his NFL quarterback rankings and slots Tom Brady third. Denver’s Peyton Manning and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers are Nos. 1 and 2 (Insider content).
7. Walker’s take on Patriots-Texans. ESPN.com AFC East reporter James Walker shares some early thoughts on Patriots-Texans.
8. NFL Network crew on Patriots-Texans. In a video posted to NFL.com, NFL Network analysts Kurt Warner and Steve Mariucci opine on the rematch between the Patriots and Texans. A lot of questions about Texans quarterback Matt Schaub.