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.

With the Patriots preparing to meet the Texans on Sunday in the AFC playoffs, quarterback Tom Brady joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning for his weekly interview and talked about his team's matchup as well as other news from around the league.

Brady said he watched all four playoff games over the weekend. Following the Seahawks' victory over Washington on Sunday, Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman -- who trash-talked Brady following their game in October -- received a smack in the face from Washington offensive lineman Trent Williams.

I think the Patriots are going to beat the Texans on Sunday.

You think the Patriots are going to beat the Texans on Sunday.



KIRK MINIHANE

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Bill Belichick said Sunday that when it comes to preparing for Sunday’s divisional playoff matchup between the Patriots and Texans, you shouldn’t go looking for hints in the regular-season matchup between the two games.



Patriots coach Bill Belichick indicated Sunday afternoon that the team was “going full-speed ahead here on Houston,” as the Texans’ win over the Bengals in the AFC wild card contest Saturday allowed the Patriots to focus on the fact that they’ll meet Houston Sunday at 4:30 p.m. in a divisional playoff contest at Gillette Stadium.

Arian Foster ran for 140 yards on 32 carries, and a touchdown to lead the Texans over the Bengals, 19-13, Saturday in an AFC wild-card gam at Reliant Stadium, earning a rematch with the Patriots next Sunday at 4:30 p.m. in the AFC divisonal round at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots crushed the Texans, 42-14, on Monday night football on Dec. 10 at Gillette Stadium. 

Sports Illustrated NFL columnist Peter King checked in with Mut & Merloni for his weekly visit and talked about the NFL coaching carousel.

King said Jets coach Rex Ryan -- who is back in the news Friday after being photographed on vacation sporting a creative tattoo that apparently features his wife wearing a Mark Sanchez jersey and nothing else while Tebowing -- will return to New York for at least one more season.

Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich, who injured his hip during Sunday's regular-season finale against the Dolphins, made his weekly appearance on Friday's Dennis & Callahan show and talked about his efforts to get healthy in time for the team's playoff opener on Jan. 13.

"I'm doing everything to be back as fast as possible," Ninkovich said. "I'm just working hard right now, doing everything I can to get ready for next weekend.

Ninkovich was coy about the extent of the injury, but he implied that it's not season-ending.

 

It's the postseason. You've got questions -- some very good ones regarding the Ravens, the Broncos and the rest of the AFC. And we've got answers. With a mix of playoff (and offseason) queries about the Patriots and some of their rivals, let's get to it with a postseason mailbag.