The New England Patriots completely shredded the Houston Texans 42-14 on Monday Night Football, in a game that was thankfully less close than we all expected it to be. It’s time to take a look at some of the statistics that stand out after the game.
1. Tom Brady is clearly the MVP at this point in time, and he bagged another AFC Player of the Week honor after posting a 125.4 quarterback rating and a 95.6 TQBR (ESPN’s stat) against the Texans. He averaged 8.5 yards per attempt and had the deep ball working well against a Texans defense that is susceptible to those passes. Brady saw the Texans, as usual, bringing the heat on him, as he faced the blitz 56% of the time. However, he turned that into three touchdown passes and a high completion percentage on those types of throws. In the end, Brady added 22.5 points to his team with that performance (per the advanced stat EPA), which was good for second in the league in Week 14 just behind Cam Newton.
2. Vince Wilfork received a +7.9 grade from PFF, which is absolutely insane for anyone, especially from a DT. Wilfork wreaked havoc on the Texans offensive line by tipping passes and outmuscling his way through an overwhelmed interior. It was his best game of the season, and he has played some great games this year. J.J. Watt also received high marks from PFF after recording four hits on the quarterback, but he wasn’t the best DL on Monday night. That honor belongs to Wilfork.
3. The Houston Texans averaged just 3.7 yards per carry, and the Patriots held Arian Foster to just 3.1 yards per rush.
4. Jerod Mayo and Dont’a Hightower continue to do an excellent job of manufacturing pressure when called upon to do so, as both players finished with two hits on Matt Schaub.
5. Speaking of Schaub, the Patriots frustrated him so much that he had an abominable 68.8 QB Rating and an even worse 19.1 TQBR. He was simply awful, and that’s a top ten QB that the Patriots managed to shut down. Who said this secondary is a weakness?
6. Not only is Kyle Arrington playing some great ball in the slot now, but rookie Alfonzo Dennard has also turned it up. Dennard has always been good this season, but he took it to another level against Houston. In fact, PFF notes that he was only targeted three times on throws to Andre Johnson (after Aqib Talib left with an injury), and he did recorded a PD and a big stop on third-down. Now that’s how you limit one of the top WRs in the league…as a rookie CB.
7. Tom Brady went 8-12 for 172 yards (!) when throwing it towards the middle of the field.
8. The New England Patriots had 62 rushing yards on ten carries when rushing towards the right side of the field, which just shows how big of an impact Dan Connolly and Sebastian Vollmer had despite being less than 100%.
9. Seven tight ends and wide receivers outside of Andre Johnson combined for just seven receptions for the Texans.
10. 11 carries, 15 yards. That just shows the impact of how Vince Wilfork shut down the middle, because that’s the amount of success that the Texans had when rushing it up the gut. Only Ben Tate had any success in that region.
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