To prepare for the Texans-Patriots divisional playoff game this weekend, let’s review the Patriots’ postseason history under Brady.
– beat Broncos (beat Broncos week 15)
– beat Ravens (hadn’t played Ravens that year)
– lost to Giants (lost to Giants 24-20 week 9 & preseason week 4)
– lost to Jets (beat Jets 45-3 week 13)
– lost to Ravens (beat Ravens 27-21 week 4)
(note: lost to Texans 34-27 week 17)
– didn’t make playoffs
– beat Jaguars (hadn’t played Jaguars that year)
– beat Chargers (beat Chargers 38-14 week 2)
– lost to Giants (beat Giants 35-30 week 17, 27-20 preseason week 4)
– beat Jets (lost to Jets 17-14 week 10)
– beat Chargers (hadn’t played Chargers that year)
– lost to Colts (lost to Colts 27-20 week 9)
(note: beat Texans 40-7 week 15)
– beat Jaguars (hadn’t previously played Jaguars that year)
– lost to Broncos (lost to Broncos 28-20 week 6)
– beat Colts (beat Colts 27-24 week 1)
– beat Steelers (lost to Steelers 34-20 week 8)
– beat Eagles (beat Eagles preseason week 1)
– beat Titans (beat Titans 38-30 week 5)
– beat Colts (beat Colts 38-34 week 13)
– beat Panthers (hadn’t previously played Panthers that year)
(note: beat Texans 23-20 week 12)
– didn’t make playoffs
Certainly the Patriots are a great team and have done well to consistently get to the playoffs and do well once there. But looking at their playoff losses, three of them were to teams they had previously beaten, and three of them were to teams they had previously lost to in the regular season. For their 13 playoff wins, six of them were against teams they had previously beaten, five against teams they hadn’t played, and two against teams to whom they had lost.
So while they do have a nearly 50% chance of beating teams twice in a season, they also have a 50% chance of losing to a team they’ve previously beaten, especially recently. In two of the last three post-seasons, they lost their first game to a team they’d beaten earlier in the year.
The Texans (with Schaub) have only played the Patriots twice. The Texans won the first meeting in 2009 and lost the second this year. They are absolutely capable of beating them again, especially with the newly confident, healthy, balanced team they have now. Betting on the Patriots might be a smart move, but it’s not a certainty, even based on their playoff history.