Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots: 10 Talking Points for Sunday’s Matchup


Dec 10, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) directs the offense against the Houston Texans during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

Waiting two weeks for your team to get on the field again can seem like an eternity, especially during the postseason. While you wait, you are bombarded with articles, television segments and radio interviews filled with opinions, projections and prognostications that can make your head spin. Some give you hope. Some make you second guess what you thought you knew.

This piece is not meant to do either.

As you read this, keep in mind that stats and results are real. They are all anyone really knows. Those guys on TV, radio and the internet — they really are no different than you. The access they have does not make them any kind of authority. Any opinions that roll off their tongues or finger tips are just that — opinions. Don’t let the noise they create sway your own thoughts and feelings. Stick with what is real.

I’ve thrown together ten statements, based 100% on fact and nothing else, that will help you clear your mind and shut out the noise as this weekend’s Patriots-Texans game approaches. These are things to think about and even discuss with others before and during the upcoming contest. These, not the opinion of the loud mouth on that talk show, are all that matter.

1. Five quarterbacks finished the year with a higher passer rating than Tom Brady. All five led their teams to the playoffs.

2. Ten quarterbacks finished the season with a passer rating over 90. Matt Schaub snuck in at No. 9 with a 90.7, two tenths of a point higher than Tony Romo

3.  Both Brady and Schaub were sacked exactly 27 times during the regular season. Schaub had 93 fewer pass attempts (637 vs. 544)

4. Arian Foster finished the season at No. 23 in the NFL among all qualified rushers in the category of yards per carry with 4.1. New England’s Stevan Ridley finished five spots ahead of him with 4.4 a carry.

5. Foster led all rushers during Wild Card weekend in both carries (32) and total yards (140), however, finished 8th in yards per carry (4.4) out of the nine backs with at least ten carries.

6. Wes Welker and Andre Johnson were the league’s 4th and 5th most targeted receivers respectively with only ten targets separating them (174 vs. 164).

7. Four New England Defenders registered 3 or more interceptions during the season. One Houston player, Kareem Jackson, hit that mark with four.

8. J.J. Watt had 20.5 sacks and 16 passes defended during the year. The only two games where he did not register any stats in either category were Houston’s 13-6 win over Chicago and the 42-14 loss at New England.

9. Before their Week 14 loss to the Patriots, the Texans were scoring over 28 points per game. Including the matchup with New England, Houston is averaging less than 17 points per game in their last five contests.

10. New England has failed to score three touchdowns in only one matchup this season: the Week Two loss to the Arizona Cardinals