The New England Patriots may have opened as 16-point favorites for their divisional round playoff game against the Houston Texans. Just because Vegas is taking their opponent lightly doesn’t mean the Patriots’ Tom Brady will, too.
At least Brady isn’t looking past the Texans defense, anyway. During his weekly interview on WEEI 93.7 in Boston (transcribed by Ryan Hannable), the four-time Super Bowl champion spent Monday morning reminding folks that Houston is a tough opponent, and you can never take anything for granted in the NFL.
“We’re playing a really good team,” Brady said. “We are playing a team that has earned this opportunity. They have the No. 1 defense in the league. I studied them all day yesterday. They have a damn good defense.”
Brady went on to praise Houston’s coaching staff, which has plenty of familiar faces. Texans coach Bill O’Brien, defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, linebackers coach Mike Vrabel and special teams coordinator Larry Izzo all spent time in New England and know full well what it takes to win football games.
Obviously, the Texans have Brady’s respect and attention heading into Saturday night, even if bookmakers and bettors don’t. The expectation is for the Patriots to advance to the conference title game, but that doesn’t mean it will happen without a fight.
Then again, New England already defeated the Texans 27-0 in Week 3 without Brady, who was serving a suspension, and without Patriots backup Jimmy Garappolo, who was injured. If third-round rookie Jacoby Brissett can one-up Houston, think what could happen with a 12-time Pro Bowler at the helm.