FOXBORO, Mass. — Vince Wilfork knows what it will take for his Houston Texans to compete against his former team, but the big nose tackle got on the defensive when told the New England Patriots are favored by 16 points in the divisional round playoff game.
“I think last night we saw a game in Alabama-Clemson where the so-called experts had Clemson as underdogs,” Wilfork said Tuesday in a conference call. “In ’07, those experts had the New York Giants as underdogs, and both of those teams went out to win the Super Bowl and national championship. It goes to show you what these experts know.”
Still, there’s a reason the 14-2 Patriots are so heavily favored over the 9-7 Texans, who came to Gillette Stadium in September and lost 27-0 with rookie third-stringer Jacoby Brissett at quarterback for New England. Tom Brady is back under center for the Patriots, who are expected to cruise through the AFC playoffs and into the Super Bowl.
“This one actually means a lot more than the previous time we’ve been up there,” Wilfork said. “This time around, you lose, you go home. We all understand that. We know it’s going to be a tough game going on the road in the playoffs against the hottest team in the NFL, against the greatest quarterback in the NFL, probably of all time. They have a really good football team that we gotta go face. We understand we have to go play probably the best game of the season to actually be able to hang with them. But we understand that.”
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