6 reasons why the New England Patriots won in Week 14

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1. Double-teaming Watt and Hopkins

The Texans are a very good team, primarily because they boast the best defensive player in football as well as the Julio Jones of the AFC. The Patriots prevailed last night because they approached Watt and Hopkins perfectly.

Watt was neutralized as a result of the Patriots’ constant double teams. Sure, he was hindered a bit because of that broken hand, but give credit where credit is due. The Patriots constantly chucked an extra blocker Watt’s way, such as offensive lineman/tight end hybrid Michael Williams. It worked out well, as Watt only mustered a pair of tackles and nothing more.

On the other side of the ball, the Patriots plugged No. 2 corner Logan Ryan on Hopkins and gave Ryan safety help over the top. Hopkins broke away from Ryan just once for a 40-yard gain, but other than that, the Patriots held him to two catches on 12 yards. Devin McCourty did a great job providing Ryan with security on the deep ball.

Not surprisingly, Malcolm Butler absolutely owned Nate Washington in coverage except for Washington’s single reception of 49 yards. Butler made one of the best individual plays of the day when he punched out a near-touchdown catch in single coverage on the veteran wideout.

So there you have it. The Patriots won last night because of a potent run game, the presence of Gronk and Amendola, the ascendance of White, the solid debut of Johnson, outstanding front seven play and by taking the right approach toward Watt and Hopkins.

Next: Week 15 AFC Power Rankings: Pats back on top

Now, the attention in Foxboro as well as here on Musket Fire turns to the Week 15 game against the Tennessee Titans.