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NFL playoff schedule 2013: Patriots, Texans square off for spot in AFC Championship

The New England Patriots are set to host the Houston Texans in the AFC's final divisional round game on Sunday.

Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, the New England Patriots will host the Houston Texans for the final game of the NFL's divisional round. New England is enjoying their bye, and they have a dominant performance over these very same Texans to thank for that.

The Patriots beat the Texans down on Dec. 10, which sent Houston into a downward spiral that saw them lose three of their final four games (including the New England defeat). It was as decisive a game as you can get, with Tom Brady throwing a couple touchdowns en route to the 42-14 score.


More: Patriots-Texans roundtable debate | Playoff odds


Houston's late-season struggles took them out of contention for the AFC's top seed an gave the Patriots a comfortable bye. They then went on to play and dominate the Cincinnati Bengals in the wildcard round, so the old debate will once again be tested, as it is every year: is it better to be rested or to have that first playoff game?

New England is heavily favored in this one, on the books and by the experts. Houston is such underdogs in this one to the point of essentially being overlooked. We'll see who s right when the game gets underway on Sunday. The game is set for 4:30 p.m. ET at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA.

NFC Divisional round: Seahawks vs. Falcons

SB Nation blog: Field Gulls | The Falcoholic

Game Date/Time: Sunday, Jan. 13, 1 p.m. ET
Location: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
TV Schedule: FOX
NFL odds: Falcons -2.5
NFL picks: Seahawks, 24-20

AFC Divisional round: Texans vs. Patriots

SB Nation blog: Battle Red Blog | Pats Pulpit

Game Date/Time: Sunday, Jan. 13, 4:30 p.m. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA
TV Schedule: CBS
NFL odds: Patriots -9.5
NFL picks: Patriots, 35-20