Found January 13, 2013 on
Stevan Ridley kicks in the door for a touchdown in Sunday’s win
I usually like to find a key to a football game. Sometimes it is a player that went above and beyond what is expected of him to have a big day. For the New England Patriots on Sunday, that would be second-year running back Shane Vareen who quickly became a match-up nightmare for the Houston Texans. In his replacement of normal Patriots scat-back Danny Woodhead, who rushed for 41 yards on 7 carries as well as 5 catches for 83 yards. His three touchdowns (one on the ground and two through the air) were a big reason that the Patriots were able to put up 41 points. Wes Welker also played very-well with 141 yards on 8 catches and a couple of drive extending catches for the New England Patriots.
Units can also be a key for teams. On Sunday, the Patriots defense was huge for them. It was evident after the very first play of the game when the Texans got a huge kickoff return and started their drive inside the Patriots’ red-zone. On that drive, they held the Texans to three points. Even as the Patriots offense struggled early on, the defense held strong and kept the Patriots up in a game where they could have fallen down quickly. On that side of the ball, the shout-outs go to corner-back Aqib Talib who played excellent cover corner on Texans top wide-out Andre Johnson, line-backer Jerrod Mayo who flew around the field making tackles and hits, and Rob Ninkovich, whose interception in the third quarter shifted the momentum back in the favor of the Patriots when it could have shifted back in favor of the Texans. In reality though, the defense has a whole was a strength for the team, especially the run defense as they held Arian Foster to 90 yards rushing.
Maybe that’s why it is tough to pick a “key” to this game. Outside of the special-teams and Kyle Arrington, the entire Patriots team played a pretty complete game. After talk all week about how this game was not going to be the same as the one a month ago, it almost played out that way. The start wasn’t as fast for the Patriots and the Texans made it interesting down the stretch, but the Patriots were up 38-13 at one point in the game and it felt pretty much over after that. Basically, the Patriots limited their mistakes, caused the Texans to make a couple and they made the plays they had to including a couple of big ones.
In reality, that is the recipe for success in the post-season, and the Patriots played it on Sunday. Now they get a date with the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC Championship rematch no one really saw coming.
Two more wins for number four.
BEST OF MAXIM
WHY PLAY? JUST DANCE
Brandon Spikes is a solid NFL linebacker, a controversial Twitter user and, apparently, quite the dancer. Spikes busted a move during the third quarter of Sunday’s divisional round showdown at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots linebacker obviously was very excited about the idea of New England recovering a fumble in Texans territory. Unfortunately for Spikes, the officials determined...
Patriots coach Bill Belichick is providing no update on injured tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Belichick said during a conference call Monday that he had nothing to add to his comments following New England's 41-28 win over the Houston Texans in a divisional playoff game Sunday. He said then he wasn't sure if Gronkowski had broken his arm.
Gronkowski needs season-ending surgery...
Patriots running back Danny Woodhead injured his thumb early in Sunday's game against the Texans. His return is questionable.Fantasy Spin:Woodhead is usually used as a slot receiver and an occasional change of pace halfback out of the backfield. Shane Vereen will have to pick up the slack if Woodhead is unable to return.
Tom Brady proved his mettle once again, becoming the NFL’s all-time postseason wins leader (Getty/ Wickerham)
Three times the Patriots have hosted the Houston Texans in Foxboro. Three times the Patriots have won big. Final scores of 40-7 (2006), 42-14 (2012), and 41-28 (2012 playoffs) are impressive, but the latest triumph wasn’t as easy as that last margin suggests thanks...
If the Patriots are to hoist the Lombardi Trophy this year, they’ll have to get the job done without Rob Gronkowski.
According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, Gronkowski reinjured his forearm during the first quarter of Sunday’s divisional round playoff game against the Texans. The injury will reportedly require surgery, and the Pro Bowl tight end will miss the rest of...
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has undergone surgery on his broken left arm, a person with knowledge of the operation tells The Associated Press.
Gronkowski suffered the season-ending injury Sunday when he caught a pass from Tom Brady in the first quarter and landed out of bounds on the arm for an incompletion in New England's 41-28 playoff win over the Houston Texans.
The New England Patriots took care of the Houston Texans yesterday with little resistance, winning the game 41-28. Brandon Spikes was quite happy when the Patriots recovered a fumble and decided to let everyone know. His wave style first down signal pretty much made my day. Can't wait for that Ravens vs. Pats game next Sunday. #BradyIsASurgeon
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New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has left Sunday's playoff game against the Houston Texans with an apparent injury to the left arm that kept him out five games during the regular season.
Running back Danny Woodhead also went out in the first quarter, leaving after the first play with a thumb injury.
Gronkowski broke his left forearm blocking for an extra point...
In his postgame conference yesterday, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady lauded his teams mental toughness. Here's the quote;
"Yeah. I think that’s been the mark of our team. We’ve won 11 of 12. We were down 31-3 at home and battled back. I think we’re going to be in it. We have a lot of tough guys, mentally tough guys. Whatever happens, like what happened on the first...
Patriots RB Shane Vereen and TE Aaron Hernandez had a breakout game vs the Texans Sunday in Foxboro. New England rolled 41-28 by leaning on these two key playmakers.
On Sunday night while the Patriots were trampling the Texans at Gillette Stadium, Brendon Ayanbadejo was sitting at home stewing while watching New England’s no huddle offense.
That’s when the Ravens’ special teamer took to Twitter to air his grievances with the Patriots’ hurry-up ways. Unfortunately, he likely did more harm than good for Baltimore by pointing out what he...
Welcome to the playoffs, Shane Vereen.
New England's forgotten second-year tailback—who was drafted 17 spots ahead of Stevan Ridley in 2011—stole the show Sunday evening, piling up 124 total yards and three touchdowns in New England's 41-28 thrashing of the Houston Texans in the Divisional Round.
The speedster out of California proved to be the X-factor for...
It’s weird. Without Rob Gronkowski and Danny Woodhead the Patriots and Tom Brady looked inconsistent passing the ball. Brady forced too many balls to Welker that bounced off his arm and Aaron Hernandez dropped a catch or two. Then I notice that Brady still threw for 344 yards and they scored 41 points.
Matt Schaub, Arian Foster, Daniel Manning and J.J. Watt all had really good...
On the face of things, this weekend couldn't have gone much better for the New England Patriots. A comfortable victory to get the play-offs started over the Houston Texans, preceded by an upset in the form of the Baltimore Ravens win over the Denver Broncos, meaning another game at Gillette, with everything on the line.
However, there is a big smear on the weekend. When Rob...