Unless the Texans or Broncos fall flat on their faces this weekend — which is possible considering Houston’s visit to Indianapolis and Denver’s struggles with Kansas City earlier this season — there will be football at Gillette Stadium next weekend. So, that means either the Cincinnati Bengals or Indianapolis Colts will be making the trip to New England.
Both teams clinched their playoff berths with wins last Sunday and are on scorching hot streaks right now.
The Bengals have won six of their last seven, including a nail-biting victory over the division rival Steelers on Sunday in a game that had a playoff feel to it. Andy Dalton has played well lately, scoring 15 total touchdowns (12 passing, three rushing) and throwing five interceptions over their past seven games. Meanwhile, the Cincy defense has really kicked it up a notch, allowing just 12 points per game over that seven-game stretch.
As for the Colts, they’ve pulled out four of their last five games and eight of their last 10. Andrew Luck looks like Rookie of the Year royalty, Reggie Wayne has seen a youthful resurgence and the return of head coach Chuck Pagano from leukemia can only serve to further inspire this team.