Emmanuel Sanders knows how to beat the Patriots

The 2015-16 Patriots saw their season end at the hands of the Denver Broncos in Colorado last year. A little less than 365 days later, they begin their playoff push looking decidedly better and much harder to stop given the caliber of opponent in their way.

But Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who caught five balls for 62 yards in the Denver win last year, offers some hope for the Houston Texans on Saturday night.

"To beat the Patriots, you gotta keep Tom Brady off the field," Sanders said on GameDay Morning. "How do you keep Tom Brady off the field? You have to be able to run the football. You gotta get Lamar Miller the ball and when you have an opportunity, you have to throw the ball down the field. We talk about low percentage throws, low percentage throws that you can complete.

"Brock Osweiler drop back, three steps let it go. Give it to Will Fuller, man. That's how you beat these guys. You gotta keep Tom Brady off the field and you gotta be able to complete the ball down the field and make some plays. You guys can possibly pull it off, but you have a tough task ahead of yourselves."

More adventurous minds could try and draw a parallel between Sanders' Denver team and this year's Houston Texans. Both, for one reason or another, were disadvantaged at the quarterback position. Denver was able to negate Brady's effectiveness thanks in part to an excellent pass rush led by Von Miller. Houston has Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus.

While those efforts are appreciated, as is Sanders' opinion, Houston's defense is not nearly as dominant as last year's Broncos. Their offense is also far more prone to implosion. Asking Osweiler to simply complete short passes and get the ball out in three steps is a yeoman's task in this scenario. Denver's win in 2016 was the perfect storm for fans of an antiquated football style. Peyton Manning was just barely good enough to hoist a twice-in-a-generation defense into the Super Bowl.

It will take far more than sound football to make Saturday memorable for the Texans.

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