Wes Welker Will Need to Be Involved Early, Often for Patriots to Squeak Past Texans (Video)

Monday night’s showdown in Foxboro will go a long way toward shaping the AFC playoff picture.

The Texans have looked like the best team in the NFL at times this season, while the Patriots seem to be hitting their stride and are poised to potentially grab one of the AFC’s top two seeds. Of course, in order to snag one of those two seeds, the Pats will need to bring their A-game the next two weeks.

J.J. Watt has been fantastic for the Texans’ defense this season, batting balls down at the line of scrimmage left and right. For that reason, Bill Belichick has had the Pats’ defense using racquets against Tom Brady in practice in order to simulate Watt’s presence.

Watt is far from the only guy New England will have to worry about during Monday’s clash, though. Houston’s offense is also capable of making life difficult, and while it’s the rushing attack that’s particularly imposing, the Patriots can’t afford to sleep on Matt Schaub. While many might be hesitant to place the “elite” label on Schaub, he and Andre Johnson remain a very formidable quarterback-receiver duo.

The Boston Globe’s Shalise Manza Young recently broke down New England’s three keys to a victory on Monday night. Check out her analysis in the video above.

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