Found January 12, 2013 on State of the Texans:
New-york-jets-new-england
Divisional Round of the AFC Playoffs. The Houston Texans head back to Foxboro, MA for the second meeting versus the New England Patriots in 5 weeks after the initial 2012 meeting in week 14. What have the Texans learned, what new wrinkles will we see from Belichick, Brady and crew, and who will show up who may not have been so influential in the game’s outcome in December.   We can always count on Derek Havens of PatsFans.com and @PatriotsHaven on Twitter, for answers to all our burning questions – some serious, some not-so-much. Read below to get Derek’s valuable insight. .   @the_halby How much does Bill Belichick change a game plan when facing an opponent they’ve beaten? How many new wrinkles can HOU expect?   Belichick is one of the greatest coaches in NFL history, so his week-to-week preparation is nearly unmatched. I think when you are facing a team again in the same season, you have to try and do what worked well in the last meeting while also trying to catch your opponent off-guard with anything they might try and adjust to.  I would expect several new wrinkles and wouldn’t be surprised to see a trick play of player in an unusual position.   @Frobeus_NS Do the Patriots plan on resting Tom Brady since this game will be so easy?   No, he’s a pretty competitive player. Look for him to start and play out the game.   @HappyTexans Are they expecting a different blitz package from Texans DC Wade Phillips? Are they still practicing with rackets?   We all know Wade Phillips isn’t afraid to bring pressure, so it is expected for this re-match. While Brady has shown that if you hit him, he can be shaken, he is exceptional if defenses bring 5 or more; this season Brady has thrown for a 67% completion percentage, 1,582 yards, 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions. And yes, I am sure the rackets are out.   @Rottweiller2000 How has the Patriots defense/team evolved with addition of CB Aqib Talib?   The addition of cornerback Aqib Talib has been critical to this Pats secondary. While his play has only been mediocre thus far, his presence created a domino theory for the rest of the defensive backs. With him lined up at CB, Alfonzo Dennard across from him, Steve Gregory and Devin McCourty at the safety positions, there is more stability for the back-end of the defense, something the unit desperately needed.   @texantakeover How do you expect the patriots to use TE Rob Gronkowski against the ‪#Texans defense? On seam routes of mainly in the red zone?   Gronkowski back is huge for the Patriots offense. Similar to Talib’s presence, there is a big domino effect with Gronkowski in the game. Seam routes and redzone targets are where most of his damage is done. Along those lines, he should be able to clear out the middle of the field for WR Wes Welker and TE Aaron Hernandez as well as contributing in blocking Houston’s strong pass-rush.   @Joeeatstacos J.J. Watt, had a below avg game last time, can NE repeat?   Tough question to answer, my guess is no. I don’t believe the Patriots will allow Watt to takeover the game, but I would be surprised if he was as irrelevant as he was in the last contest.   @TXBobbumman How have the Pats fared when Belichick has had an extra week to prepare for a team? ‪   The Patriots have fared well under Belichick after the bye because of the extra time, but also because they have been a very good team for most of the past 12 years. No matter how much time they’ve had these last two weeks, it will certainly take a four-quarter effort to win Sunday.   ‏@TXBobbumman Will the Pats even bother going 3 WRs when they can abuse our ILBs with their TEs? ‪   I would expect to see the big four: Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. Along with them, one of the Patriots running backs would line up and most likely be the offensive package most showcased.   @garciarafael65 Has any opponent made Vince Wilfork a non-factor and how can the Texans do it?   Wilfork is one of the most dominant defensive players in the league and he has been slowed, but he makes his presence felt every game. He does not play in an attacking scheme, but he always ends up near the ball carrier.   Any players we should be on the lookout for who may not have had as big an impact in week 14? Offense: Danny Woodhead, Rob Gronkowski Defense: Chandler Jones, Brandon Spikes
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Bill Belichick on Aqib Talib

Bill Belichick on Aqib Talib: Great game out of Talib and certainly one that bought him some...

The Patriots will repeat their effort against the Texans this week. Divisional round preview.

The Texans were embarrassed by the Patriots on MNF, will the same this happen this weekend? The Wildcard games disappointed for one reason, quarterback play.  That will not be a problem this weekend.  The marquee quarterbacks are off their bye weeks and are ready to lead their teams onto the field. Here is a look at the games and my selection of the winners. Baltimore vs...

Ravens vs. Patriots: First look at the AFC Championship Game

The New England Patriots are one victory away from going to their sixth Super Bowl in the 12-year period since Tom Brady became the starting quarterback. But standing in the way is one of the Pats' biggest rivals in Baltimore. Here's our first stats-based look at the matchup between the Ravens and Patriots. * The Ravens and Patriots are two of only six NFL teams with a...

Another Peyton Manning v. Tom Brady AFC Championship Game?

The Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs will pit the #4 seed Baltimore Ravens against the #1 seed Denver Broncos and the #3 seed Houston Texans against the #2 seed New England Patriots. Are we on target for another Peyton Manning versus Tom Brady AFC Championship Game? If the Broncos and Patriots meet for the [...]The post Another Peyton Manning v. Tom Brady AFC Championship Game...

5 Awesome Photos From The Texans-Patriots Game

It's Tom Brady; It's J.J. Watt; It's Arian Foster vs. Vince Wilfork; It's Matt Schaub against a young, but inexperienced defense. This game is sure to excite the fans, both at Gillette Stadium, as well as across the country!Who will make the highlight reels? Who will put up the points? Touchdowns and big plays on defense, these two teams are ready to put on a show...

Tom Brady Passes Joe Montana For No. 1 All Time In Playoff Wins

On a weekend when Brady etched his name on another page of the NFL history books, the Baltimore Ravens captured the highest winning percentage in history in road playoff games

Turnover battle crucial in Sunday's game

The New England Patriots defense has thrived on takeaways. Their +25 turnover ratio towers over the +12 ratio of the Houston Texans. It's amazing really, considering that the Pats D is often criticized yet they come up big. To this day they still embody the "bend but don't break" defense that they have for years. Boston.com's Zuri Berry recently wrote an article...

Vereen, Ridley aid injury-riddled Pats

Tom Brady was shaky early on, Wes Welker had an uncharacteristic drop, and Rob Gronkowski was nursing an injury that kept him from making any sort of impact. But Sunday night's Patriots' 41-28 AFC divisional-round victory over the Texans wasn't exactly a carbon copy of last year's heartbreaking Super Bowl loss to the Giants. Quite the contrary, in fact, as the Patriots...

The Importance of Having a Balanced Offense for the New England Patriots

A couple of days ago, I wrote about the Patriots hunger to win and belief in their new and improved team (check it out here). Arguably the most important improvement to this year's New England Patriots team as opposed to last year's Super Bowl Runner-Up team is the presence of a rush offense.At the end of the regular season, the New England Patriots ranked #7 in rushing offense...

Wes Welker Has Most to Prove as Tom Brady, Patriots Look to Return to Super Bowl Without Rob Gronkowski

On Sunday afternoon, with Rob Gronkowski and his injured forearm in the locker room and Danny Woodhead having long left the field, Wes Welker was still going. He had six catches for 120 yards at the half, and he finished the game with eight catches for 131 yards. It wasn’t like many people noticed, though, with everything else that was happening. On a day that saw key injuries...

5 on 5 NFL Roundtable: Divisional Playoff Weekend

With our five writers going each 3-1 last week here is your Divisional Playoff Weekend’s roundtable discussion with Zach Schotz, Eric Huberman, Jason Weingold, Seth Goldberg, and Patrick Keenehan to give you our insight. 1. Choosing out of just the remaining quarterbacks in the playoffs, who would you want in a win or go home situation? Eric Huberman: In a couple of years this...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.