Originally written on The Nosebleeds  |  Last updated 10/23/14
On Sunday, the Patriots defeated the Houston Texans 41-28 to advance to the AFC Championship game for the seventh time since 2001.  Running back Shane Vereen had himself a career day after Danny Woodhead went down with an injury on the opening drive, racking up 41 yards and a rushing touchdown, as well as 83 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Unfortunately for the Pats, tight end Rob Gronkowski re-injured his left forearm and is out for the remainder of the playoffs which could be a huge blow to the offense, although they seemed to do just fine without him in this game.  Gronk is scheduled to have surgery on the arm today. The defense was able to keep Houston’s weapons in check for most of the day, keeping Arian Foster under 100 yards rushing and Andre Johnson under 100 yards receiving while the offensive line kept J.J. Watt to just half a sack and no pass deflections.  The New England pass rush only managed to rack up one sack on Matt Schaub for the day, but they brought a noticeable amount of pressure in the second half and flushed him out of the pocket multiple times, ultimately leading to Rob Ninkovich’s 3rd quarter interception to stop Houston from potentially cutting the lead down to a field goal. So apart from the miserable kickoff coverage, Patriots fans should be feeling pretty good about the way the Pats played on Sunday.  The offense was moving the ball the way everyone expected them to and the defense executed their signature bend-but-don’t-break strategy well enough to limit one of the NFL’s most potent offenses to 28 points, with 15 of them coming in the 4th quarter when the game was pretty much already decided. Next up will be the beloved Baltimore Ravens, the team that beat the Pats by a single point by scoring three points on a missed field goal (yeah, I said it).  I’ll have more tomorrow on how these two teams will match up when real referees are calling the game. PS – Keeping being you, Brandon Spikes.

Agent: Joe Maddon prepared to sit out season if need be

Report: Chandler Jones could miss rest of season

Report: Army football enticed recruits with alcohol, women

Report: Kobe viewed Dwight Howard's departure as 'positive'

Lions suspend CJ Mosley, send him home from London

Federal judge blocks New Jersey sports betting law


Report: Bucs sign Gerald McCoy to seven-year extension

Tim Tebow lectures Florida fans about booing

Report: Shonn Greene arrested after parking in handicap spot

Report: Joe Maddon wants a very hefty salary

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Couple dresses up in Ray Rice Blackface Halloween costume

WATCH: Kentucky DB Blake McClain lays out Miss. St. WR

WATCH: Dwyane Wade videobombs himself

GRAPHIC: Cam Atkinson shows how close he was to losing eye

WATCH: 350-pound Arkansas lineman throws TD pass

Penn State fans blew air horns outside Ohio State's hotel?

WATCH: Oregon's Charles Nelson has impressive punt return TD

WATCH: American flag rips during Game 3 national anthem

WATCH: Tony Parker draws foul by simply yelling 'hey'

Video: Tom Izzo takes the stage with KISS on Midnight Madness

Eight NFL records that won’t be broken for a long time

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

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!

Report: Army enticed recruits with alcohol, women

Penn State fans blew air horn at Ohio State players' hotel?

Tim Tebow lectures Florida fans

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

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

Company Info
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.