Here’s where the Patriots and Texans stand overall after 15 NFL games on the stats sheet. I think that while stats don’t amount to much when trying to predict a game, it does illuminate some strengths and weaknesses and at this point in the season, tend to hold true during the game, as “you are who you are.” All of these stats were taken from the NFL.com team stats page.
- Total Offense in Yards Per Game (YPG): 2nd Pats (402.7), 5th Texans (379.3)
- Points Per Game: 7th Pats (26.7), 11th Texans (23.6)
- Passing YPG: 4th Pats (279.5), 2nd Texans (290.6)
- Rushing YPG: 11th Pats (123.1), 31st Texans (88.7)
- 3rd Down %: 9th Pats (44%) *tied with the Jags, Chargers, and Giants*, 15th Texans (40%)
- Total Defense YPG: 8th Pats (312.3), 14th Texans (325.4)
- Points Allowed Per Game: 4th Pats (16.7), 15th Texans (20.4) *With all the talk about the Pats’ young defense, what can’t be overlooked is that they’re 4th overall in points allowed per game, the most important defensive stat.*
- 3rd Down %: 11th Pats (37%), 19th Texans (39%) *Texans are tied with 49ers, Sea Hawks, Giants, Saints, and Redskins*
- Passing YPG: 7th Pats (204), 17th Texans (216.3)
- Rushing YPG: 11th Pats (108.3), 13th Texans (109.1)
- Interceptions: 11th Pats(17) *Pats are tied with the Buccaneers*, 19th Texans (13) *Texans are tied with the Falcons and Giants*
- Sacks: 21st Pats (30), 25th Texans (28) *Texans are tied with the Sea Hawks*
Not surprisingly (or maybe surprising to some), the Texans rank ahead of the Patriots in passing yards per game. With that stat, I included some extra stats as far as defense goes against the pass. As I figured, the Pats rank near the bottom of the league in sacks as their pass rush has been anemic most of the season. However, on the positive side of that statistic, 8 of those 30 sacks have come in just the past two games, so the Pats are trending in the right direction. What surprised me was that the Texans ranked below the Patriots in sacks, with Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans, and Brian Cushing in that front 7.
Of course, all this may not amount to much if not all of the Patriots’ starters suit up for the game, or don’t spend a significant amount of time in the game. This is an issue that Bill Belichick is dealing with in terms of managing the team for the postseason, as I discussed in detail earlier this week. Belichick hasn’t let the cat out of the bag as to who will or will not play and for how long, as one would expect. If the Pats play to win, all in, it should be a great game.