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New England Patriots links 1/13/17 - Patriots preparing for a fight; Texans no pushover

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Daily news and links for 1/13/17

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Winners.
Winners.
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

TEAM TALK

LOCAL LINKS

  • Mike Reiss reports Tom Brady says coach Bill Belichick has made it clear that they can't afford a letdown against Houston and its No. 1-ranked defense.
  • Jeff Howe finds steady Tom Brady doesn’t change his pre-game methodologies to accommodate the urgency of the NFL postseason.
  • Phil Perry reports Tom Brady is in the running for his third MVP, but he's not focused on winning it. "It's about what this team can accomplish."
  • Bill Speros talks about the magic number that 'remains the most-unbreakable, the most-untouchable, the greatest you-will-never-see-approached-again number in Boston sports lore: Thirty-nine.'
  • Christopher Price suggests that if they're all healthy, the Patriots should dress all five receivers Saturday. Go all in.
  • Jeff Howe talks up the significant challenge posed by the Texans defense, and suggests we watch to see how Tom Brady and the Patriots work to overcome it.
  • Phil Perry hears Rob Ninkovch talk up LT Duane Brown, who did not play at Gillette Stadium back in September: "He's got it all."
  • Mike Reiss observes that Dion Lewis' workload -- and production -- have increased as the season has progressed -- and they've never lost a game with him on the field.
  • Jonathan Lyons (DirtyWaterMedia) Marcus Cannon and Nate Solder are keys to beating Houston.
  • Christopher Price highlights Julian Edelman on playing Houston: The Texans 'will be the best team we've played so far.'
  • Mike Reiss reports Malcolm Mitchell's status remains in question for Saturday, as he is listed as a limited participant (knee) at practice.
  • James Toscano explains why Malcolm Mitchell could be the X-factor for the Pats in the playoffs.
  • Ryan Hannable talks about how Jacoby Brissett is proving even a 3rd-string rookie QB can be a leader for the Patriots. /Good read.
  • James Toscano gives us three things to watch for Saturday: Ground control.
  • Ron Borges notes Bill O'Brien urges his team to learn from it's past mistakes vs. Patriots, and to come out fighting to avoid getting knocked out.
  • Steve Balestrieri (PatsFans) Five players to watch against the Texans.
  • The Herald looks at head-to-head key matchups: Tom Brady vs. Romeo Crennel.
  • Adam Kurkjian Texans Notes: DeAndre Hopkins won’t make prediction.
  • Doug Kyed Patriots Mailbag: Assessing 2015 draft class after two regular seasons.
  • Chad Finn's Unconventional Preview: Patriots-Texans looks like a mismatch, and it probably will be.
  • Michael Hurley questions the NFL's stability before making his Divisional Weekend picks. /Don't blink or you'll miss his NE-HOU preview.
  • Jim Lazar argues how tough it is to do anything good two times in a row, and makes his Divisional Round picks. Pats 49-7.
  • Matt Dolloff wonders just how much fans care whether or not Roger Goodell ever shows up to Gillette Stadium. /Personally I'd rather he didn't.
  • Danny Picard is already on to the AFC Championship game and would prefer the Steelers over the Chiefs.

NATIONAL NEWS

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