Tom Brady and the New England Patriots hosted the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium and routed the Texans. In what looked to be a great matchup turned into a slaughter in the first half of the game and the Texans never recovered. Now the question becomes how do the Texans recover from yet another thrashing by an elite quarterback?
FINAL SCORE: Texans 14 Patriots 42
TEXANS REGULAR SEASON RECORD: 11-2
TEXANS DIVISIONAL RECORD: 4-0
TEXANS AFC CONFERENCE RECORD: 9-1
TEXANS VS NFC CONFERENCE RECORD: 2-1
Texans Total Yards: 323
Patriots Total Yards: 419
Texans Passing Yards: 223
Patriots Passing Yards: 289
Texans Rushing Yards: 100
Patriots Rushing Yards: 130
Texans TOP: 29:11
Patriots TOP: 30:49
The best thing that came out of this game was the fact that the Texans had no injuries.
Where to begin? The Texans defense was completely carved up like sliced deli meat. The Texans couldn’t stop Brady due to the fact that the pass rush was a force of one. JJ Watt had to carry the Texans defensive line while the remaining defensive line played a smoke and mirrors pass rush. Needless to say, Brady was on and when he was finally slowed long enough for the Texans offense to make up some ground they couldn’t get anything going. The offense looked completely inept throughout the game, and the fact that they kept running the ball with no success was like slamming your head into a brick wall (literally). Vince Wilfork was an impenetratable wall that the Texans kept meeting and more times than not in the backfield.
When tracking Matt Schaub and his tenure with the Texans, it has become increasingly apparent that he is good for one interception per high pressure game. So many times, we have seen Schaub look brilliant throwing short to mid-ranged throws with precision. Then occasionally, he will hit a receiver downfield for a 30+ yarder, but when the window tightens downfield he has trouble realizing that his accuracy although good and arm strength doesn’t match. On Monday night, Schaub decided in his mind that he could match whatever Brady could do. Brady would move the ball down the field and then Schaub would try to replicate. The problem with this thought process is that Schaub would have to play outside of his strengths. The Patriots are built around Brady and his ability to throw the ball, and they supplied him with the tools to succeed. The Texans built their team around the run and Arian Foster is the cornerstone of that offense. There were several times when the differences in the way these two teams were built were in stark contrast. Brady would move the ball through the air and the Texans would try to force the run regardless of the down and distance. Once coach Gary Kubiak decided to spread the ball around, it became evident early that the Texans were ill equipped to beat the Patriots at their own game. If the Texans don’t run the ball well, it makes their game plan difficult to execute against elite teams. There was no greater display of this than on Monday night.
*Injury Note: No injuries listed
See more analysis and highlights of the game here.