Houston Texans 26-year-old tight end Garrett Graham is part of one of the best trio of TEs in the NFL on the Texans, and he has been a solid possession receiver as the team’s No. 3 tight end. Not many third options at the position manage to haul in 28 passes for 263 and three touchdowns, but that’s exactly what the third-year TE out of Wisconsin has been able to do this season. The New England Patriots did not get to face Graham in the Week 14 matchup, but they will face a small, new wrinkle in the Texans passing offense this Sunday.
Graham has suffered two concussions this season, but this second one won’t hold him out of any games. He suffered it after catching three passes in the Texans Wild Card game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Graham returned to practice yesterday, and the Houston Chronicle is reporting that he will indeed play against Graham. Despite coach Gary Kubiak’s unwillingness to commit on the subject, there was little chance of Graham missing his first shot at the Patriots.
Although the Pats defense usually struggles against tight ends, their gameplan against Texans star Owen Daniels worked to perfection in their 42-14 blowout. We’ll see how the presence of Graham affects the Patriots ability to stop Daniels, but I doubt it has a significant effect. The biggest impact Graham will have on the game is as an individual by moving the sticks with a few passes and taking a little bit of pressure off of the other guys (like Andre Johnson and Daniels).
The Texans coaching staff has consistently praised the unheralded Graham this season, and game-clinching catches like the one last week against the Bengals are the reason why Graham deserves the praise that gets thrown his way.
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