Patriots to face Texans in AFC matchup

Much more at stake than previous meeting

Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub (8) during the second quarter of an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/Patric Schneider)
Houston quarterback Matt Schaub threw for 262 yards with an interception to beat the Bengals on Saturday. Schaub had similar statistics with opposite results in last month’s lopsided loss to the Patriots. (AP)

The Patriots will play the Texans on Sunday, Jan. 13, in the AFC Divisional matchup.

New England discovered who their opponent would be after the first game of Wild Card weekend, as the Houston Texans defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 19-13 on Saturday.

The Patriots-Texas game will be held at Gillette Stadium at 4:30 p.m. on CBS.

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The Patriots blew out the Texans in Week 14 of the regular season, 42-14, during Monday Night Football.

In that game quarterback Tom Brady threw for 296 yards and four touchdowns, while running back Stevan Ridley had 72 rushing yards, and wide receiver Brandon Lloyd caught seven receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown. In addition, Aaron Hernandez had a two-touchdown performance.

The Patriots held the Texans to 100 yards rushing and Pro Bowl running back Arian Foster to 46. Nose tackle Vince Wilfork accounted for four tackles, a sack, a tackle for a loss, a pass defensed, and a fumble forced. Devin McCourty had an early interception to help stunt the Texans’ offense.

The Texans (11-1 at the time) were the best team in the AFC before they faced the Patriots. Before the game, Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson called it “the biggest game in the history of the franchise.”

After being walloped by the Patriots, even with star tight end Rob Gronkowski sidelined with an injury, the Texans hobbled into the post season losing two of their final three games of the regular season, finishing with a 12-4 record.

The Patriots had a bye this weekend and were waiting to see if they would face the Texans, Ravens, or Colts in the next round. The Bengals had a chance to make New England wait another day to find out, but they were no match for quarterback Matt Schaub’s Texans.

Benglas quarterback Andy Dalton ended the game with just 46.7 percent in completions and old friend BenJarvus Green-Ellis’ 62 yards on 10 carries weren’t enough. Schaub had a 262-yard game, and Foster ran for 140 yards, as the Texans’ defense forced the Bengals to 0-9 in third down attempts.

In other recent meetings, the Patriots lost to the Texans 34-27 in 2009 and defeated them 40-7 in 2006 and 23-20 in 2003.