Found January 11, 2013 on State of the Texans:
This weekend’s playoff matchup features a re-match of the December 10th Patriots blowout of the Texans.  It was a game we all remember but one we wish to forget.  The biggest key to this game is did the Texans, including the coaches, learn anything from the December 10th matchup?  For example, will Wade Phillips change his high risk, high reward man to man coverage scheme and try to blitz Tom Brady again?  And, did Kubiak’s offensive line learn how to block Patriots’ Vince Wilfork? In the NFL, teams are relatively balanced in terms of talent and parity, hence the phrase any given Sunday.  Teams that play consistently well and achieve success develop a higher level of concentration week in and week out.  What drives that higher level of focus can be attributed to many things such as revenge from a previous loss, anger from losing the week before, disrespect, and just about anything that provides a team with a collective “chip on their shoulder.” Although the Texans are heavy underdogs, the emotional edge highly favors the Texans, and if they can channel that emotion and focus it into their play, then they have a chance to win.   Texans to watch:  Defense As mentioned, the key to the success of the defense will be if Phillips adjusts his high blitzing scheme.  The following statistics are quite revealing so maybe Phillips will know this.  When Tom Brady has more time to pass, his pass completion ratio is worse than when he has less time.  In fact, when Tom Brady has less than 3 seconds to throw the ball, he is better!  No quarterback in the league has a shorter average time before pass than Tom Brady (3.03 seconds compared to NFL average of 3.46).  Their passing game is based on timing routes and this quick release works well against added pressure.  However, when teams drop extra defenders into coverage, this disrupts the timing, rhythm and Brady’s internal clock. The 3-4 defenses that have beaten Tom Brady in the recent past (2009 Ravens and 2010 Jets) have blitzed less and dropped more players into coverage.  Then, let your front 3 or 4 rush Tom Brady, which would mean either Brooks Reed or Connor Barwin would be in coverage.  In their blowout loss to the Patriots in week 14, the Texans sent extra rushers on more than half of Brady’s pass attempts, and he torched them finishing 13 of 19 for 148 yards and 3 touchdowns. Here are the regular season game and playoff rematch statistics for the 2010 Jets: The Jets sent at least five rushers in their two regular season meetings on 30 of 69 dropbacks (43.5 percent), with Brady finishing 18 of 28 for 335 yards and three touchdowns. Though the Jets won their first meeting of the season in Week 2, New England won 45-3 in Week 13 on Monday Night Football, highlighted by Brady’s 8-of-13, 199-yard, 3-TD performance against added pressure. However, in the playoffs, the Jets sent extra pressure on 6 of 50 dropbacks (12.0 percent) and Brady was sacked five times in New York’s win, finishing 29 of 45 for 299 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The recipe to beat Tom Brady this weekend will be more zone coverage and applying pressure with Watt, Smith and Cody, and occasionally Reed or Barwin.  It is also well known that Brady does not like pressure up the middle in his face because he likes to step up in the pocket.  Various defensive line stunts and hard rushes up the middle by possibly Brooks Reed or one of the inside linebackers could benefit the Texans. Having multiple looks and even multiple game plans to confuse and disguise wouldn’t hurt either.  In fact, I could envision the Texans playing a combination of 3-4 and 4-3 with Brooks Reed moving to inside linebacker, which we have seen this year.  The Patriots are expecting heavy blitz packages from Wade Phillips, so the Texans should do the opposite.  The Patriots would rather score quickly, so make them sustain long drives – a death by a thousand cuts would be better than a quick strike a la last time.  This strategy would put more pressure on Brady to not only have his timing perfect but also be accurate more times throughout a long drive.   Texans to watch:  Offense The Texans’ best strategy for beating the Patriots is to sustain long time of possession drives that keep the Patriots’ high flying offense off the field – and don’t beat yourself.  In the NFL, most teams lose before they get beat because they make mistakes, in effect beating themselves.  The Texans have to overcome beating themselves this time. The offensive line will need to slow Vince Wilfork down this time and the combination of Brandon Brooks and Derek Newton will be a better answer than the lighter, yet quicker, Ben Jones and the serviceable Ryan Harris, which was the combination last time.  Arian Foster and the running game must be successful to setup the play action pass.  With the addition of tightend Garrett Graham this time, the Texans will be able to run various three tight end sets – which will allow them to run or throw out of these formations.  The key will be keeping the Patriots’ defense off balance.  Kubiak said he wants his players to “cut it loose”, so let’s hope he does as well. The Patriots have always focused on taking away a team’s strength.  Their philosophy is, we will attack or stop your #1 strength so if you are going to beat us you’ll have to beat us with your #2 or #3 option.  Again, will the Texans’ offense make the necessary adjustments?  And, will the Texans be able to execute those adjustments?
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

The Patriots Tom Brady is not the best QB left in the playoffs. Ranking the playoff quarterbacks.

Denver, New England and Green Bay each have a future Hall of Fame Quarterback on their roster.  This weekend is going to have some great QB play. The Wildcard round brought us some pretty bad games.  The marque quarterbacks were on a bye so this week should be a lot better.  Here are the quarterbacks and how they stack-up 1) Manning - Peyton Manning is the MVP...

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...

oldschoolfootball: Tom Brady, New England Patriots

oldschoolfootball: Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Divisional Round Start of the Week – Tom Brady

Each week The Kommish will look at the various matchups across the league and come up with a recommendation for “Start of the Week”. Since The Kommish is a fantasy genius (not really) you should take this as the surest thing possible in a given week. I don’t think “surest” is a word, but this Start of the [...]The post Divisional Round Start of the Week – Tom Brady...

Brady Close To Another Big Record

Hot News for QB Tom Brady

Expect Pressure on Tom Brady

Expect Houston Texan's defensive coordinator Wade Phillips to get creative with blitzes against Tom Brady on Sunday. Phillips is known for being an aggressive defensive mind who likes to get pressure on the opposition's quarterback. Logan Mankins knows more than anyone that the offensive line needs to stay sharp in order to protect Brady.“He’s an aggressive coach, he...

The Patriots, playoff nervousness, and digging foxholes

Two years ago, this was the scene in Foxboro after a Patriots playoff loss at home The New England Patriots seem to be in the driver seat entering their first game of the 2013 NFL playoffs. Just over a month ago, the New England Patriots played a regular season game against their opponent, the Houston Texans and won the game 42-14. In that game, the Texans were exposed against the...

2013 NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round Fantasy Football QB Rankings

Here are the fantasy football quarterback rankings for the divisional round of the 2013 NFL playoffs. 1. Tom Brady (New England Patriots) Andy Dalton was kept in check against the Texans in wildcard weekend, but Brady is a different animal.  Though Tom Brady and company won’t be as deadly as the 42-14 blowout in Week 14 where Tom Terrific tossed four touchdowns with 296 yards...

Seahawks CB Richard Sherman mic’d up against the Redskins

If we’ve learned anything about Richard Sherman this year, it’s that he likes to run his mouth a lot.  Whether he’s chirping at Tom Brady or Calvin Johnson, he’s always talking.  This was even more evident when he was mic’d up for their playoff game against the Redskins.  I wonder what it was that set Redskins LT Trent Williams off, because it’s not like Sherman said...

Patriots go all-in, play their own version of Texans hold em

And away we go! The weekend we all have waited for has finally arrived and now it’s time to put all the cards on the table as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, not only go ‘all in’ but also raise the stakes in the upcoming losers walk playoff battle with the Matt Schaub led Houston Texans. With the upcoming Texans-Patriots game, people have wondered whether the Patriots...

2013 Divisional Round Preview: Texans @ Patriots

Gronkowski & Hernandez need to have big games on Sunday Three more days. Three more days until we get a taste of what the 2012 New England Patriots will accomplish in the 2013 postseason. While the first-round bye has provided the Pats some much needed rest, it’s time to get back on the field and crush some skulls at 4:30 on CBS. Belichick was quoted Wednesday stating; “You...

Ravens win gives Patriots great opportunity

With a win today, Tom Brady passes Joe Montana for most playoff wins by a quarterback Houston Texans at New England Patriots How things can change after one game.  The Ravens double over time win against Peyton Manning and the Broncos makes the winner of this game the top seed in the AFC.  Either way the AFC championship should be a solid game, even though it will not have the...

Wes Welker Isn’t ‘a Real Athletic Guy,’ Is No A.J. Green, Says Wade Phillips

Wes Welker was held to just three receptions and 52 yards on nine targets against the Texans earlier this season, in one of his least-productive games of the year. Although the Pats easily won that game 42-14, Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips wasn’t very impressed with No. 83. “Ah, Welker’s not [A.J.] Green,” Phillips told ESPN.com. “He’s a good player, but...

Know Your Opponent with Derek Havens

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...
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.