FOXBORO — The following Patriots players are inactive Saturday night against the Texans: wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, offensive lineman LaAdrian Waddle, running back DJ Foster, cornerback Cyrus Jones, safety Jordan Richards, quarterback Jacoby Brissett and cornerback Justin Coleman.

Cyrus Jones is among the Patriots' inactives vs. Houston. (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)

Cyrus Jones is among the Patriots’ inactives vs. Houston. (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — The following Patriots players are inactive Saturday night against the Texans: wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, offensive lineman LaAdrian Waddle, running back DJ Foster, cornerback Cyrus Jones, safety Jordan Richards, quarterback Jacoby Brissett and cornerback Justin Coleman.

There are no real surprises, but the Patriots will play with just four cornerbacks in Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, Eric Rowe and undrafted rookie Jonathan Jones.

Rowe and Jones will see more playing time than they have of late, especially Jones who really has climbed the depth chart towards the end of the season.

Historically, teams have targeted the Patriots’ No. 3 cornerback, so it could be a big night for both Rowe and Jones. Also, with Jones out look for Danny Amendola to take over the punt return duties.

The Patriots will have four wide outs with Mitchell inactive as he is dealing with a knee injury, which could mean a big night for Michael Floyd.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — The time has finally come for the Patriots to get about their business of making playoff history.

The Patriots will host the Texans in seasonably cold conditions at Gillette Stadium in their seventh straight AFC Divisional home game.

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One team, one mission. The Patriots begin their quest for a fifth Super Bowl title Saturday night against the Texans. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — The time has finally come for the Patriots to get about their business of making playoff history.

The Patriots will host the Texans in seasonably cold conditions at Gillette Stadium in their seventh straight AFC Divisional home game.

Temperatures are expected in the mid-to-upper 20s for the 8:15 p.m. kick and then drop into the low 20s by the end of the game. There is a slight chance of flurries around 8 p.m. but otherwise, there is little chance of precipitation. There will be a wind out of the south at 7 MPH making it feel like 18-to-20 degrees throughout the game.

The Patriots enter the game having won their previous five AFC divisional round games. Their last loss came in Jan. 2011 when they were stunned by the Jets, 28-21, at Gillette, one of just three home playoff losses in the history of the building.

Overall, the Patriots are 14-3 in home playoff games at Gillette and 18-4 overall at home in Foxboro.

Should the Patriots, who are 17-point favorites in some places, advance, they will become the first team in the Super Bowl era to advance to six straight AFC Championship games. They are tied with the Raiders, who also played in five straight between 1973 and 1977.

A win against the Texans will also give the Patriots 30 playoff win in their franchise history. They will join the Steelers, Cowboys, Packers and 49ers as the only five to have reached that plateau.

The Patriots will get back the services of wide receiver and punt returner Danny Amendola, who injured his ankle against the Rams on Dec. 4 and missed the last four games. Malcolm Mitchell is not expected to play, as he was limited all week in practice with a knee injury.

Commissioner Roger Goodell will not attend the game in Foxboro Saturday night.

The Texans have never won a road playoff game in three tries. One of those losses was to the Patriots in Jan. 2013, when the Patriots beat Matt Schaub, 41-28, at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots were the No. 2 seed that year and lost to the Ravens the following week in the AFC Championship.

Chris Price has a comprehensive scouting report of the game while Ryan Hannable has 20 fun facts to consider while watching the contest.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FOXBORO — For anyone who thought Roger Goodell would be at the Patriots-Texans game, it’s not happening.

Goodell is at the Falcons-Seahawks game in Atlanta, which could be the last game in the Georgia Dome. Last week, Goodell attended the Seahawks-Lions game in Seattle.

The commissioner hasn’t been to Gillette Stadium since the 2014 AFC championship game.

FOXBORO — For anyone who thought Roger Goodell would be at the Patriots-Texans game, it’s not happening.

Goodell is at the Falcons-Seahawks game in Atlanta, which could be the last game in the Georgia Dome. Last week, Goodell attended the Seahawks-Lions game in Seattle.

The commissioner hasn’t been to Gillette Stadium since the 2014 AFC championship game.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Maybe Bill Belichick doesn’t dislike his press conferences after all.

Speaking to ESPN’s Chris Berman in a 1-on-1 interview for NFL Countdown on Saturday, Berman asked Belichick about the media and how it has evolved over the years.

Within his answer, Belichick noted he actually likes press conferences because it’s his way to talk to fans.

Maybe Bill Belichick doesn’t dislike his press conferences after all.

Speaking to ESPN’s Chris Berman in a 1-on-1 interview for NFL Countdown on Saturday, Berman asked Belichick about the media and how it has evolved over the years.

Within his answer, Belichick noted he actually likes press conferences because it’s his way to talk to fans.

“I actually enjoy the press conferences because it’s the connection to the fans and that is really who I am talking to, is the fans,” Belichick told Berman. “I am trying to give the fans information that I feel comfortable giving out. It’s not really about any one reporter.

“At the same time, if it’s not in the best interest of the team, I hope our fans understand that for me to say detailed information about every single thing I am asked, I have to try and balance that. I enjoy talking to the fans and I do that through the media.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

After missing Week 17 against Miami and being limited in practice all week with a knee injury, it doesn’t look like rookie receiver Malcolm Mitchell will be able to play on Saturday night.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Mitchell will not play.

Malcolm Mitchell reportedly won't play Saturday vs. the Texans. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Malcolm Mitchell reportedly won’t play Saturday vs. the Texans. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

After missing Week 17 against Miami and being limited in practice all week with a knee injury, it doesn’t look like rookie receiver Malcolm Mitchell will be able to play on Saturday night.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Mitchell will not play.

This means the Patriots will have four active receivers in Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Michael Floyd and Danny Amendola. With Amendola coming back from an ankle injury, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Floyd see an expanded role, similar to Week 17 against the Dolphins.

Floyd has been with the Patriots for just about a month now and is getting more comfortable with the offense by the day.

Amendola could be the primary punt returner and keep Edelman on the sidelines to avoid the potential for an injury.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable