After an interminable two-week wait the patriots are finally poised to open the playoffs tomorrow night with their matchup with the Houston Texans in the divisional round at Gillette Stadium.
Longtime Patriot and current Texans nose tackle Vince Wilfork has discussed the possibility of retirement, meaning if New England comes out on top this could be a fitting place for the two-time Super Bowl champ to close out his career.
While the Patriots are pretty healthy heading into the postseason, ESPNBoston.com says Malcolm Mitchell's status is in question after the rookie was limited in practice once again.
The Boston Globe believes there's no hope for the Texans … even in Houston. They also wonder if the Texans top-ranked defense can stop Tom Brady. Eric Rowe has turned a corner and has become a regular on the Patriots defense but running back LeGarrette Blount continues to deal with an illness that has cost him two days of practice.
The Boston Herald is doing its best to create some drama Saturday night, pointing to Houston's defense and its potential to make life difficult on the Patriots. Texans coach Bill O'Brien is hoping his team learns from its past mistakes against the Patriots.
The Providence Journal says Dion Lewis is happy and healthy heading into his playoff debut. Meanwhile, Patrick Chung's versatility has been a huge asset in the Patriots secondary. MassLive.com offers five reasons each team will win Saturday night. Also, the defense isn't ignoring Brock Osweiler simply because of his terrible season.
CSNNE.com has Brady believing there are many misguided people because the quarterback says it's ridiculous to expect the Patriots to blow out the Texans. Rob Ninkovich also has plenty of respect for his opponent, especially tackle Duane Brown, who he says has it all.
The Houston Chronicle has DeAndre Hopkins calling his ailing knee excellent despite the fact that he's been limited in practice this week.