SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – In a key AFC match-up Monday night, the New England Patriots steam-rolled the Houston Texans 42-14.

“I had a tough time all year believing that the two teams in the NFL that had the best records were really the best teams, the Houston Texans and the Atlanta Falcons,” John Madden told the KCBS morning crew. “In week 13, the New England Patriots are that much better than the Houston Texans. And that doesn’t mean that when the Texans get in the playoffs that they’re going to lose. I think sometimes we jump to those kinds of conclusions.”

Madden said most NFL teams could not recover from the 21 point deficit the Texans faced last night.

“I think there are only three or four teams that you wouldn’t say that about,” the former coach said. “And that would be if you’re playing against Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees. That’s a pretty short list of guys that could be down like 21-0 and you know that they could still hang four or five touchdowns on you.”

Madden said the 49ers are not yet in that class.

“I think (coach Jim Harbaugh) is trying to get to that type of team where he could be a threat in the passing game short, middle and deep, and you have to cover the whole field and be aware of it at all times. And then that gives you balance and opens up a lot of other things. So you just can’t run the ball and throw short passes, because when you do that basically (opponents) can use the same defense to defend both.”

49ers reserve running back Brandon Jacobs, who has played just five downs all season, was suspended after tweeting he was “rotting away” on the 49ers.

John said the issue can be traced back to the second game of the pre-season game.

“You don’t know what would have happened had he not gotten off to a better start and didn’t have that (knee) injury right off the bat. When he got hurt there early, then that forced the 49ers in a different direction and (the team) had to develop different people, and those guys came out pretty good. So when Brandon Jacobs says ‘I’m ready to come back,’ well they really didn’t have that need then.” (8:55)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM. And catch John’s extra report at 9:15 a.m. Mondays and Fridays during the NFL season.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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