Comfortably resting in Foxborough with a first-round bye, the Patriots could know their Divisional Round opponent as early as tonight, as the No. 3 seed Houston Texans take on the No. 6 seed Indianapolis Colts.
If the Texans win, they will be the ones coming back to Foxboro for another meeting with Tom Brady and the Patriots. If the Colts win, though, the Patriots are playing the winner of tomorrow's Ravens-Chargers tilt.
It's a true Wild Card weekend, and here are the 98.5 The Sports Hub staff picks for New England's opponent.
Ty Anderson (writer/columnist, 985TheSportsHub.com)
I don't want to galaxy-brain myself into overthinking this one. So let me stick with what my head has told me from the jump: It's gonna be the Texans coming to Gillette. Listen, the Colts are a fine team. But had it not been for the Titans starting some expired deli meat in their win-and-in Week 17 head-to-head, there's a good chance they finished on the outside looking in, as Indy seemingly tried their best to give that game away. Having the Texans beat the Colts also keeps my theory that the AFC Championship game is still coming through Foxboro alive and well, as I see the Chargers beating the Ravens and then upsetting the Chiefs (give a team three looks at Patrick Mahomes and they're gonna figure it all out).
As for the Texans, I really hope they bring the letterman jackets back out to Foxboro for this one.
Matt Dolloff (writer/producer, 985TheSportsHub.com)
The Texans will end up heading to Foxboro to play the AFC Divisional Playoff for the fourth time. They take care of business defensively at home against Andrew Luck, who might turn it over multiple times. I'm also a believer in Playoff Deshaun Watson being a thing. If anyone's wondering, I'm also taking the Ravens, Bears, and Seahawks.
Matt McCarthy (98.5 The Sports Hub)
The Patriots will face Houston in the divisional round.
I don't buy in on the Colts beating the Texans on the road. Sure, they've won about a million games in a row, but do they really have a lot of talent around Andrew Luck? They're the product of a weak AFC. Somebody had to win some games to get into the playoffs and the Colts were that team. As great as Luck can be, he has a history of giving the ball away in the postseason (nine touchdowns, 12 interceptions). He'll do the same thing in Houston Saturday night.
That will be good news for the Pats if they get the Texans.
It's easily the best possible matchup in the divisional round for them. Both the Chargers and Ravens have a legitimate chance to knock off Kansas City in Arrowhead, too, and if you're a Pats fan, you should be rooting hard for the winner of that game to get a trip to the Midwest next week.
Not to mention the Ravens and Chargers have a better chance to come to Foxboro and win a game than the Texans.
The Ravens have a great defense and could possibly gash the Pats on the ground. Do you have faith in this Patriots run defense? Please. The Chargers, meanwhile, are a talented bunch, and many would argue they might be the best team in the AFC. And while I don't trust Philip Rivers (he's won absolutely nothing in his career), it would be much better for the Pats to face Los Angeles in a potential AFC Championship game matchup than in the divisional round.