FOXBORO — Echoing what his Pro Bowl quarterback said an hour earlier, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he doesn’t expect his team to get conservative with the playoffs beginning for his team on Sunday against the Texans. If anything, Belichick insisted, the Patriots will become more aggressive.

FOXBORO — Tom Brady is pretty sure of one thing – it won’t be as easy as it was on Dec. 10 against the Texans.

That night he was 21-of-35 for 296 yards, four touchdowns and a 125.4 quarterback rating in the 42-14 destruction of the Texans.

One of the main points Brady was trying to make Wednesday is that great teams find a way to win even when their quarterback is off.

FOXBORO — The Patriots had perfect attendance at practice — including owner Robert Kraft and defensive lineman Justin Francis, the latter of whom missed Tuesday’s workout — Wednesday afternoon, a session that was held in sweats and shells on the fields behind Gillette Stadium. New England continues preparing for its divisional playoff matchup set for Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium.

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Former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson, now a host on Houston Sports Radio 610, joined the Dennis & Callahan show on Wednesday morning to preview Sunday's AFC playoff game between the Texans and Patriots.

The Texans were routed by the Pats, 42-14, on Dec. 10, and are big underdogs for the rematch.


If history is any guide, the fact that the Patriots hold an advantage when it comes to playoff experience as well as the fact that they have an older roster means they’ll beat the Texans Sunday in their playoff clash at Gillette Stadium.

FOXBORO -- Rookie defensive lineman Justin Francis was the only member of the Patriots not spotted at the start of practice Tuesday afternoon. As for who was there, according to reports, linebacker/edge rusher Rob Ninkovich -- who suffered a hip injury in the regular-season finale against the Dolphins -- was present and participating in agility drills. New England continues preparing for its divisional playoff contest against the Texans, set for Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium.

In 2009, Wes Welker was denied one potential career-defining playoff run when he suffered a devastating injury in the regular-season finale against the Texans. Now, with the Patriots set to face Houston in Sunday’s divisional playoffs, the slot receiver has another opportunity to add to his legacy.

In an attempt to show his motivation for this Sunday's divisional playoff game against the Patriots, Texans running back Arian Foster changed his avatar on Twitter Monday to a excerpt of a Sunday column written by Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe. 

Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins, joining Mut & Merloni on Monday morning, talked about the team's preparations for the Texans, who will be in Foxboro for Sunday's AFC playoff game.

The Patriots blew out the Texans, 42-14, on Dec. 10, but it's been widely discussed that two years ago the Patriots routed the Jets in the regular season only to be upset by New York in the playoffs.

CBS Sports NFL analyst Boomer Esiason made his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to discuss the playoffs.

Esiason predicted the two NFC road teams (Packers and Seahawks) would win this weekend, with the Patriots and Broncos advancing to the AFC championship game.