The New England Patriots host the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium in the AFC Divisional Playoffs on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.
Tony Corrente is the referee assigned to the game.
As of Thursday the line on the game from 5dimes.eu via Yahoo Sports has the Patriots at MINUS 9. The over/under is 47.5.
My Prediction is Patriots 31, Texans, 24. Take the points (TEXANS) and take the over. I am 4-12 against the spread and 10 of 16 on calling the over/under in 2012.
The Patriots are reporting the game as a sell out. It is the 204th consecutive sell out dating back to the 1994 season opener. The record includes preseason, regular season and playoff games.
Tickets to the game, if available, can be purchased through Ticketmaster. You can check the availability here.
After market tickets are available through the Official Patriots Ticket Exchange where season ticket holders can sell their unused seats to fans on the season ticket waiting list.
Getting to the Game
If you’re lucky enough to be going to the game in Foxboro make sure you check out the links.
Here is the up to date weather forecast from the Weather Channel for Foxboro MA.
Click for all the game day information including stadium directions, parking information and map and a Gillette Stadium seating chart.
Here’s a bunch of different tailgating recipes from Tailgating.com. There’s something there for everyone and every type of meal or snack. I’ve tried some of the recipes and they’re very good.
And with tailgating many people enjoy some adult beverages. With that in mind check out Drink Nation for how to make all sorts of great drinks. You can look things up by name, ingredient(s) or theme.
Whether it’s at the game, a bar or a friend’s house moderation is always the key to a great time. Please don’t drink and drive and designate a sober driver. Remember You Drink, You Drive, You Lose.
CBS in televising the game nationally and Jim Nantz will do play by play while Phil Simms will provide the game analysis. You can look here for your local affiliate.
Here are all the rules on NFL TV broadcasts including explaining the blackout rules; flex scheduling and commercial breaks.
The Patriots Radio Network broadcasts the game from flagship station WBZ-FM, 98.5 the Sports Hub in Boston. Gil Santos, who is retiring after the playoffs, handles the play-by-play and former Patriots QB Scott Zolak will do the game analysis. It all starts with Gary Tanguay and Andy Gresh with the pregame show at 1 p.m. along the network. The post game starts after the final gun and continues for three hours along the network.
The Patriots Radio Network call is available on Sirius Channel 86, XM Channel 226 and SiriusXM Internet Channel 818.
The Texans Radio Network has Mark Vandermeer calling the game while former Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware provides the game analysis and Rich Lord covers the sideline via their flagship station KILT AM/FM.
Their call is available on Sirius Channel 92, XM Channel 225 and SiriusXM Internet Channel 812.
Dial Global Sports is carrying the game nationally via their affiliate network. Ian Eagle, Trent Green and Lewis Johnson will call the game starting at 4:15 p.m.
Their call is available on Sirius Channel 88, XM Channel 88 and SiriusXM Internet Channel 88.
Patriots All Access
Patriots All-Access features behind the scenes looks, interviews and breakdowns with head coach Bill Belichick and in depth features on the team. It’s hosted by Steve Burton of WBZ-TV (Boston) and airs weekly in most New England television markets.
Boston MA on TV 38 Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
Providence RI on WNAC Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
Manchester NH on WMUR Saturday at midnight
Portland ME on WMTW Sunday at 5 a.m.
Hartford CT on WCTX Saturday at 5 p.m.
Springfield MA on WFXQ Saturday at 7 p.m.
Bangor ME on WVII Sunday at 11 a.m.
You can also watch it anytime on the teams website in the media section.
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The Patriots had a first round bye after shutting out the Dolphins in Week 17, 28-0. The Texans beat the Bengals in the Wild Card Round, 19-13.
The teams have never met in the playoffs.
This is the third time the Texans have come to Gillette Stadium second time in 5 weeks.
Patriots lead the overall series, 3-1.
New England won in Week 14 when they dismantled the Texans 42-14 on Monday Night Football.
Patriots Team Notes
Here is the Patriots roster, depth chart and injury report for the game.
2012 Patriots Schedule/Results
The Patriots overall franchise record is 426-369-9. They have won three Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX) in seven appearances. Overall they are 23-16 in the post season.
They last appeared in the playoffs in 2011 when they beat Denver home in the AFC Divisional Playoff, 45-10 and defeated Baltimore 23-20 in Foxboro in the AFC Championship Game. They lost Super Bowl XLVI to the New York Giants 21-17.
The Patriots are the defending four-time AFC East Champions as well as the defending AFC Conference Champions. They have won the division 10 times including this season and the conference 5 times since 2000.
Patriots Playoff History (20 seasons)
Year How Qualified Seed Record Result
2012 Division Champions 2 x-x TBA
2011 Division Champions 1 2-1 AFC Champions
2010 Division Champions 1 0-1 AFC Divisional
2009 Division Champions 3 0-1 Wild Card Round
2007 Division Champions 1 2-1 AFC Champions
2006 Division Champions 4 2-1 AFC Finalist
2005 Division Champions 4 1-1 AFC Divisional
2004 Division Champions 2 3-0 SB Champions
2003 Division Champions 1 3-0 SB Champions
2001 Division Champions 2 3-0 SB Champions
1998 Wild Card 6 0-1 Wild Card Round
1997 Division Champions 3 1-1 AFC Divisional
1996 Division Champions 2 2-1 AFC Champions
1994 Wild Card 5 0-1 Wild Card Round
1986 Division Champions 3 0-1 AFC Divisional
1985 Wild Card 5 3-1 AFC Champions
1982* 16-Team Format 7 0-1 First Round
1978 Division Champions 2 0-1 AFC Divisional
1976 Wild Card 4 0-1 AFC Divisional
1963 Division Champions -- 1-1 AFL Finalists
New England has the 4th highest winning percentage (.589) in the post season of teams having played a minimum of 15 games. Only San Francisco (.591), Pittsburgh (.611) and Green Bay (.630) have higher winning percentages.
Since 2001 the Patriots have secured a bye week 7 times. It is the highest total in the NFL in that time span. Chicago and Pittsburgh have done it 4 times each since 2001.
Patriots Divisional Playoff Results (9-6)
Date Opponent W/L Score
01/13/13 Houston Texans TBA TBA
01/14/12 Denver Broncos W 45-10
01/16/11 New York Jets L 21-28
01/12/08 Jacksonville W 31-20
01/14/07 at San Diego W 24-21
01/14/06 at Denver L 13-27
01/16/05 Indianapolis W 20-3
01/10/04 Tennessee W 17-14
01/19/02 Oakland W (ot) 16-13
01/03/98 at Pittsburgh L 6-7
01/05/97 Pittsburgh W 28-3
01/04/87 at Denver L 17-22
01/05/86 at LA Raiders W 27-20
12/31/78 Houston Oilers L 14-31
12/18/76 at Oakland L 21-24
12/28/63 at Buffalo W 26-8
This will be the 30th playoff game of the Kraft ownership era. They are 19-10 in the post season since 1994.
Since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002 New England is 9-2 at home in the playoffs.
Overall the Patriots are 13-3 (.813) as the home team in the postseason. Only Green Bay 15-3 (.833) has a better post season homefield winning percentage.
The Patriots had seven non-offensive touchdowns in 2012. The 2010 Patriots and 1961 Patriots teams own the team record with nine non-offensive touchdowns.
Date Game Touchdown
9/9/12 at Tennessee Dont’a Hightower 6-yd. Fumble Return
10/21/12 vs. N.Y. Jets Devin McCourty 104-yd. Kickoff Return
11/18/12 vs. Indianapolis Julian Edelman 68-yd. Punt Return
11/18/12 vs. Indianapolis Aqib Talib 59-yd. Int. Return
11/18/12 vs. Indianapolis Alfonzo Dennard 87-yd. Int. return
11/22/12 at N.Y. Jets Steve Gregory 32-yd. Fumble Return
11/22/12 at N.Y. Jets Julian Edelman 22-yd. Fumble Return
New England set a NFL record with 444 first downs in 2012.
They had the fewest fumbles (7) in team history and led the NFL in turnover differential (+25) which was the second highest total in team history.
When the Patriots have a positive turnover ratio in a playoff game they are 17-1. They are 3-3 when the turnovers are even and are 3-12 when they have a negative turnover ratio.
The Patriots have never lost a playoff game when they had a 100-yard rusher they are 7-0.
In the Week 14 game against the Texans the Patriots were 3 for 3 (100%) in the red zone with 3 TDs. New England was 6 for 12 (50%) on third down conversions and 0 for 0 on 4th down attempts.
This season New England led the NFL in yards per game (427.9), interception rate (1.40%), first downs per game (27.8), third down conversions (48.6%), red zone pct (70%), points per game (34.8) and point differential (14.1).
The Patriots lead the league in points per game with 34.8. While they allowed 20.7 points per game good for a tie for 9th.
The New England defense sacked the opponents quarterback 37 times this season while Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett were sacked 27 times.
New England ended the season PLUS 25 in turnover differential, 1st in the NFL. The offense gave up 9 INT and 7 fumbles, while the defense had 20 INTs and 21 fumble recoveries.
For the season the Patriots were 110 for 226 (48.6%) in 3rd down efficiency and 8 for 12 (75%) on fourth down attempts. Opponents were 82 for 205 (40%) in 3rd down efficiency and 9 for 23 (39.1%) on 4th down attempts.
For 2012 New England was 40 of 58 (70%) in the red zone while opponents were 20 for 36 (55.5%) in the red zone in 2012.
In goal to go situations New England was 31 for 37 (83.7%) and opponents were 15 for 21 (71.4%).
In 2012 the Patriots scored over 400 points for the 6 consecutive season. They also became the first NFL franchise to have 4 consecutive seasons of 500+ points.
New England led the NFL with 25 rushing TD’s in 2012.
Since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994 they:
Have the most Super Bowl wins, 3.
Have the most regular season wins, 205.
Have the most wins including playoffs, 224.
Have the most conference titles, 6.
Have the most division titles, 12.
Have the most playoff wins, 19
Have played the most playoff games, 29.
Are tied for the most playoff seasons, 14.
Have the best playoff win percentage, .671.
Have drafted the most Pro Bowl players, 20.
Patriots Staff Notes
This is the link to head coach Bill Belichick’s Wednesday press conference on the Dolphins.
Bill Belichick is 3-1 vs. the Texans in his career.
Overall in his NFL career Belichick is 187-101 in his 18th NFL season. He is 151-57 with New England and 36-44 with Cleveland. He is 17-7 in the playoffs, 16-6 as head coach of the Patriots in the post season. When you combine his regular season and post season records he is 204-108.
Belichick’s 204 wins are good for 7th all-time. Marty Schottenheimer who coached the Browns, Chiefs, Redskins and Chargers is 6th with 205 wins.
His 17 playoff wins are tied for third most all-time with Joe Gibbs and behind only Don Shula (19) and Tom Landry (20).
Belichick’s .708 post season win percentage is 4th all-time behind Bill Walsh (.714), Tom Flores (.727) and Vince Lombardi (.900).
Belichick is one of just four coaches to win three Super Bowls, joining Chuck Noll (4), Joe Gibbs (3) and Bill Walsh (3). Those men are all in the Hall of Fame.
He is the only coach in NFL history to win three championship titles in four seasons.
He is the only coach in NFL history to have led his team to 10+ wins in 10 consecutive seasons.
Belichick has 10 seasons of 11+ wins he is tied for 2nd most all-time with Tom Landry. Don Shula is the all-time leader with 13 seasons of 11+ wins.
The following staff has Texas ties:
Special Teams Coach Scott O’Brien served as the Linebackers/Special Teams Coach for Rice University during the 1986 season.
Wide Receivers Coach Chad O’Shea was born in Houston. O’Shea went to Marshall University to play quarterback before transferring to the University of Houston (1994-1995). He got his coaching experience started at his alma mater acting as the teams graduate assistant (1996), wide receivers.
Offensive Line Coach/Assistant Head Coach Dante Scarnecchia had two coaching stints at SMU (1975-76; 1980-81).
Patriots Possible Starters
DE: C. Jones
Patriots Players Notes
This is Tom Brady’s 13th NFL season he is 3-1 vs. the Texans. This is the first time they have met in the playoffs.
Overall Brady is 136-39 as a starting QB and is 16-6 in the playoffs for an overall record of 152-45. Brady is an 8 time Pro Bowl QB; two time NFL MVP and has won 3 Super Bowls while twice being named the games MVP. He is also listed as the 21st Greatest Player in the History of the NFL according to the NFL Network.
He is 3rd all-time in postseason TD passes with 38. Brett Favre is 2nd with 44 and Joe Montana leads with 45.
Brady shares the record with 6 TD passes in one game (Denver 2011) with Oakland’s Darryl Lamonica (Houston 1969) and San Francisco’s Steve Young (San Diego 1994).
Brady holds the NFL record with 499 postseason completions.
Brady’s 16 playoff wins are tied for 1st all-time with Hall of Fame QB Joe Montana.
Brady is tied for the franchise lead with Tedy Bruschi for most playoff games as a Patriot (22).
In 2012 Brady was 401 of 637 (63%) for 4827 yards with 34 TDs and 8 INTs his passer rating was 98.7.
Earlier this season against Houston, Brady had his 14th career game with 4 TDs and 0 INTs, it is the most in NFL history.
WR Wes Welker now has catches in 117 consecutive games including playoffs, 100 as a Patriot. The last time Welker did not have a catch in a game was 12/24/05 as a Dolphin.
Welker led the team with 118 catches for 1354 yards and he was 2nd on the team with 6 receiving TD’s.
He is the 1st player in NFL history to have five 100+ catch seasons.
Welker has the second most receptions (768) all-time among undrafted receivers. Rod Smith is the NFL’s all-time leader with 849.
Welker is third in franchise history with 53 playoff receptions.
WR Deion Branch is second in franchise history with 54 playoff receptions. Troy Brown is 1st with 58.
Branch is the franchise leader in postseason receiving yards with 836.
RB Stevan Ridley finished the season with 290 attempts for 1263 yards and 12 TD’s.
Ridley was the 5th Patriot to have at least 1200 yards rushing in a season and he led the team in TD’s with 12. TE Rob Gronkowski, who missed 5 weeks with an arm injury, was 2nd with 11 TD’s.
Ridley’s 1263 yards were the fourth highest total in Patriots history.
In the Week 14 matchup WR Brandon Lloyd and TE Aaron Hernandez were the Sox and Dawgs Offensive Players of the Game. Lloyd had 7 catches for 89 yards and 2 TDs – 1 on a fumble recovery. Hernandez made 8 catches for 58 yards and 2 TDs. They combined for 4 TDs, 15 catches and 147 yards receiving.
Hernandez also had his first 2 TD game since his rookie year in 2010 against the Texans in Week 14.
TE Rob Gronkowski joined WR Randy Moss and RB Corey Dillon as the only Patriots players to have had three straight seasons with 10+ TD’s.
K Stephen Gostkowski led the NFL in points with 153.
LB Jerod Mayo was the team leader in tackles again with 184 tackles (115 solo) it was the 5th highest total in team history.
Mayo (184) and LB Brandon Spikes (128) became the first Patriots teammates to record 100+ tackle season in the same year since 2006.
DE Rob Ninkovich finished with a team high 8 sacks in 2012.
Spikes and Ninkovich tied a team record this year with 5 forced fumbles each. Mayo was second with 4 forced fumbles.
DT Vince Wilfork and Ninkovich had a team high 4 fumble recoveries in 2012.
In the Week 14 game Wilfork was the Sox and Dawgs Defensive Player of the Game. He had 4 tackles (3 solo), 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 tackle for loss and 1 pass defensed.
Rookie DE Chandler Jones had a team high 12 QB hits and he was second on the squad with 6 sacks.
CB/S Devin McCourty had 5 INT’s to lead the team. Rookie S Tavon Wilson had 4 INT’s; rookie CB Alfonzo Dennard and S Steve Gregory each had 3 INT’s.
It was the 2nd time in 3 years that McCourty has led the team and the AFC in INT’s.
McCourty also led the team in passes defensed, while CB Kyle Arrington was 2nd on the year with 11 passes defensed.
CB Aqib Talib hurt his hip in the earlier meeting against Houston and has played only sparingly since.
WR Matthew Slater had 20 tackles on special teams and rookie S Nate Ebner was 2nd with 17 tackles on special teams.
The Patriots returned 2 INT’s and 3 fumbles for TD’s in 2012. They also had a kickoff return and a punt return TD.
Patriots with Texas Connections:
T Sebastian Vollmer attended the University of Houston.
T Marcus Cannon is from Odessa and attended TCU.
QB Ryan Mallett is from Texarkana.
CB Aqib Talib is from Richardson.
WR Wes Welker went to Texas Tech.
CB Malcolm Williams is from Grand Prairie and went to TCU.
New England has 35 players who have playoff experience on the 53-man roster.
Of the 18 players on New England with no playoff experience, they have 4 players with at least 5 years of NFL experience who have never played in a NFL playoff game. They are WR Brandon Lloyd (10 yrs), CB Aqib Talib (5), DE Trevor Scott (5) and G Donald Thomas (5).
There are only three players on the team who played on at least one of the Super Bowl championship teams, Brady (3), Deion Branch (2) and Wilfork (1).
Roster moves this week:
Signed DL Tracy Robinson to the practice squad.
Signed WR Andre Holmes to the practice squad.
The Patriots captains for 2012 are QB Tom Brady, DT Vince Wilfork, G Logan Mankins, LB Jerod Mayo, CB Devin McCourty and WR Matthew Slater (special teams).
The Patriots have 5 New England natives on the roster they are: TE Aaron Hernandez (Bristol CT); OL Donald Thomas (New Haven CT); DE Ron Brace (Worcester MA); LB Niko Koutouvides (Plainville CT) and OL Jamey Richard (Weston CT - IR).
They have 10 players who played for a New England school or a Big East Conference member. They are CB Will Allen (Syracuse – IR); DE Ron Brace (Boston College); RB Tony Fiametta (Syracuse – Exempt List); DE Justin Francis (Rutgers); S Stephen Gregory (Syracuse); DE Chandler Jones (Syracuse); CB Devin McCourty (Rutgers); OL Donald Thomas (UConn); RB James Develin (Brown – Practice Squad) and NT Vince Wilfork (Miami).
The Patriots have 6 retired numbers: 20 – Gino Cappelletti, 40 – Mike Haynes, 73 – John Hannah, 78 – Bruce Armstrong, 79 – Jim Lee Hunt and 89 – Bob Dee.
Texans Team Notes
Here is the Texans roster, depth chart and injury report for the game.
2012 Texans Schedule/Results
Houston’s all-time record is 77-99-0 they are 2-1 in the post season. They beat the Cincinnati Bengals 19-13 last week at home in the AFC Wild Card game.
They have never played in a Super Bowl.
They are the AFC South champions for the second consecutive season. They are the only team besides Indianapolis to win back-to-back AFC South titles.
In response to the horrific shooting that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. on Dec. 14, the Houston Texans pledged to donate the proceeds from the team’s gameday silent auction at the Dec. 23 home game against the Minnesota Vikings to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. Texans owner Bob McNair pledged to match every dollar raised at the auction, while Texans players and coaches also contributed to the fund. Thanks to the generosity of the Houston Texans’ fans, the organization was able to donate more than $70,000 to the fund, which will provide support services to the families and community that has been affected.
With a win on Sunday Houston will advance to its first AFC Championship Game.
A win on Sunday would also be the franchise’s first road playoff win.
The Texans defense didn’t allow a third down conversion to Cincinnati in the AFC Wild Card game last weekend. The Bengals were 0 for 9 on third down.
In all three post season games in franchise history the Texans have outrushed their opponent.
Their first season was in 2002. They began play on September 8, 2002 with a 19-10 win over Dallas.
Houston is 1-3 all-time vs. New England and is 0-2 in Gillette Stadium.
In the Texans two losses at Gillette they’ve allowed at least 40 points in each game.
The Texans are 12-12 all-time against the AFC East.
Last season was the first time the Texans made the playoffs winning the AFC South.
2012 was the team’s winningest season they finished 12-4. The previous best season was 2011 when they went 10-6.
They had franchise high 12 wins in 2012.
The Texans have a team song called “It’s Football Time in Houston” written and performed by country star, Clay Walker. They tried to replace the song in 2003 with one written by Chad Kroeger of Nickelback but a near riot quickly ensued.
The Texans also use “Bulls on Parade” by Rage Against The Machine. The song has given the defense its nickname, Bulls on Parade.
The Texans mascot is Toro.
Houston was 1st in the NFL in time of possession averaging 32:53 per game.
The Texans defense has allowed opponents to convert 33% (71 for 215) of the time on 3rd down and they are 31.3% (5 for 16) on 4th down. The offense has a 3rd down conversion rate of 37.6% (83 for 221) and on 4th down has converted 57.1% (4 for 7) of the time.
The Houston defense has sacked the opponents quarterback 44 times this season, while the Texans QB’s have been sacked 28 times.
The 44 sacks tied a team record (set in 2011) for most in a season.
The Texans were 8th in the NFL in points per game with 26.0. While they allow 20.7 points per game good for a tie for 9th in the NFL.
Houston is PLUS 12 in turnover differential, good for 7th in the NFL. The offense has given up 13 INT and 4 fumbles, while the defense has 15 INT and 14 fumble recoveries.
Their 17 turnovers are a record low for the franchise.
The 29 takeaways were one off the team record of 30 set in 2004.
Houston is 32 of 57 (56.1%) in the red zone while opponents are 20 for 40 (50%) in the red zone in 2012.
Texans Staff Notes
Read what Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak had to say to the New England media about the match up.
Houston head coach Gary Kubiak, is in his 7th season, he is 59-53 and 2-1 in the post season for an overall record of 61-54.
Kubiak is only the second head coach in Texans history he succeed Dom Capers who was 18-46 in the teams first four seasons.
Kubiak is 1-2 vs. New England.
Texans Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison began his coaching career at Suffield Academy in Suffield CT.
Texans Special Teams Coordinator Joe Marciano coached the wide receivers at The University of Rhode Island from 1978-79.
Texans Possible Starters
LG: W. Smith
RG: B. Jones
TE: G. Graham
DE: A. Smith
Texans Players Notes
Texans QB Matt Schaub is in his 9th NFL season. He is 44-36 with Houston and 1-0 in the playoffs. He was 0-2 with Atlanta for an overall record of 45-38.
Schaub was the 3rd round pick in the 2004 NFL Draft by Atlanta out of the University of Virginia.
He got hurt in Week 10 last season and missed the rest of the season including the franchises first two playoff games.
Schaub has yet to throw a TD pass in the playoffs.
Has the best road winning percentage (.818) among NFL quarterbacks the last two seasons.
Since coming to Houston in 2007 Schaub has led the Texans on 10-game winning drives.
Schaub was 350 of 544 (64.3%) for 4008 yards, 22 TD’s and 12 INT’s and a 90.7 passer rating.
RB Arian Foster ran for 140 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries and became the first player to rush for more than 100 yards in each of his first three career playoff games.
Foster is 4th all-time with consecutive 100+ yard rushing games (3) in the playoffs behind Thurman Thomas (4), John Riggins (6) and Terrell Davis (7).
Foster led the team in rushing with 1424 yards on 351 carries.
He led the NFL with 15 rushing TD’s.
He is just the 3rd undrafted running back to have three consecutive seasons with 1,000 yards rushing.
He had at least 100 yards rushing in 5 of the 8 games Houston played on the road.
He has at least 100 rushing yards in 8 of the 10 games he has played on national television.
WR Andre Johnson had 112 catches for 1598 yards and 4 TD’s to lead the Texans.
He became the 6th fastest player in NFL history to 10,000 receiving yards.
Johnson has caught at least 1 pass in 106 consecutive games including playoffs.
He has 17 games in his career with 10 catches and 100 yards that is the highest total in NFL history Wes Welker is second and he has done it 16 times.
TE Phillip Supernaw’s (practice squad - IR) father is former country musician Doug Supernaw, who sang the hit songs “I Don’t Call Him Daddy” (#1 in 1993) and “Reno” (#4 in 1993).
DE J.J. Watt led the NFL in 2012 with 20.5 sacks. He is the 9th player in NFL history to record 20+ sacks.
He holds the single season Houston franchise sack record.
Watt also led the team with, 42 QB hits, 4 forced fumbles, 16 passes defensed and 107 tackles (85 solo).
He is the first player in NFL history to have at least 15 sacks and 15 passes defensed in the same season.
Watt’s 16 passes defensed are a NFL record for a defensive lineman.
He was the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for December and was named the 2012 team MVP.
S Glover Quin and LB Bradie James were second on the team with 105 tackles each.
2011 team MVP LB Brian Cushing is on the IR with a torn ACL he suffered in Week 5 against the Jets.
S Danieal Manning was second on the team with 3 forced fumbles.
CB Kareem Jackson was the team leader with 4 INT’s.
LB Tim Dobbins had 4 fumble recoveries to lead Houston.
LB Bryan Braman became the first Texan to block to punts in the same season when he did it Week 6 vs. Green Bay and Week 15 vs. Indianapolis
K Shayne Graham set a team record with 138 points in 2012.
The Texans had 12 players make their NFL playoff debut last Saturday against Cincinnati. They now have 45 players on the 53-man roster with playoff experience.
Houston’s captains for 2012 are (offense) C Chris Myers, WR Andre Johnson, QB Matt Schaub, (defense) LB Brian Cushing, DE Antonio Smith, DE J.J. Watt and (special teams) S Shiloh Keo, LB Tim Dobbins.
NT Terrell McClain and K Shayne Graham are former Patriots returning to Foxboro for the game.
The Texans signed former UConn standout WR Kashif Moore to their practice squad this week.
Houston has 8 Pro Bowl selections they are LT Duane Brown, RB Arian Foster, WR Andre Johnson, C Chris Myers, QB Matt Schaub, LG Wade Smith, CB Jonathan Joseph and DE J.J. Watt.
There are 3 players on the Texans roster from Big East universities. They are LB Connor Barwin (Cincinnati); WR Kashif Moore (UConn – practice squad) and DT Terrell McClain (South Florida).
The Texans have no retired numbers.
If the Patriots win on Sunday they will either play Baltimore at home or face Denver at Mile High on Sunday January 20 on CBS.
Follow Steve on Twitter @SteveMichaelsII