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Samsonite Make Your Case: Top Dog

Posted Nov 30, 2012

With the NFL season winding toward the final month it's time to forecast some potential postseason foes for the Patriots. Which team offers the biggest threat to a New England return to the Super Bowl? Weigh in with your thoughts in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll.

Bill Belichick won't like the fact that Team PFW is already looking ahead to the postseason, but with the division title all but wrapped up and the calendar about to turn to December it's time to take a peek at the playoffs.

The Patriots will most certainly be among a small group of teams to beat in the AFC, with the Texans, Ravens and Broncos all well on their way to division titles also. So, which of these teams poses the biggest threat to the Patriots chances of returning to the Super Bowl?

We take a look at that very topic in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case.

PFW's Andy Hart says...

Houston Texans

The Texans are the most balanced team in the conference and therefore pose the biggest threat to the Patriots and everybody else. On offense they are capable winning in a variety of ways. They can grind it out on the ground with Arian Foster or they can take to the air with Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson. They've shown the ability to score into the high-30s when needed and have done so while coming from behind as well. On defense few teams can apply the type of pressure that Houston can with J.J. Watt, and the Texans rarely allow themselves to get caught up in shootouts as a result. Last season the Texans were on their way to making a long playoff run when Schaub was lost for the season and third-stringer T.J. Yates replaced him. Now they're ready to take another step. 
- AH

PFW's Paul Perillo says ...

Denver Broncos

Houston is a formidable opponent and one to be taken seriously for sure, but come playoff time I believe experience is important and the Texans have very little. Conversely, Denver has Peyton Manning and he's been through the rigors of the postseason many times. He's also put the failures of his early days in Indy behind, as he proved against the Patriots back in 2006. Manning has seen it all and won't melt under the pressure of playing the Patriots — or anyone else. In order to beat New England you have to be able to match it point for point. Manning can do that because he can throw the ball, and that's always a problem for the Patriots defense. The Broncos are coming together after a very difficult schedule early, and they will be the most dangerous threat come January. 
- PP

Now it's the fans turn to cast their vote for this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll question.

Click here to cast your vote on a mobile device.

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