Sunday, December 01, 2013 New England Patriots Comeback for Exciting Win on Road Against Houston Texans

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The New England Patriots traveled to Houston, TX to face the Houston Texans.  The game was hardly the much-hyped and anticipated prime-time matchup from last year as it was rolled back to the 1:00PM start time.  With the Texans at 2-9 entering the game and riding a nine game losing streak, they were a very dangerous opponent as they had nothing to lose against the Patriots.

New England sleepwalked through the first half, trying to duplicate their ineffective performance against the Broncos just the week before. The Patriots, as expected, were a little flat traveling 2,000 miles after such an emotional comeback win. The surprising move was the benching of running back Stevan Ridley.  After multiple fumbles in the past few weeks, the young running back was not active as Bill Belichick sent him a message loud and clear in regards to ball security.

In the second half, the Patriots offense finally came alive as they came out of the half with a five play, 78 yard drive highlighted by a 50 yard reception by tight end Rob Gronkowski on a seam route on play-action.  The key was the Patriots offense going empty backfield to start the half and using running back Shane Vereen in the backfield and flexing out like a receiver on the line. Seldom used fullback James Develin played the role of the inactive Stevan Ridley and pounded the ball in from a yard out.

Just as an important start to the half by the offense, the defense got the offense the ball back quickly with a big run stuff on third-and-one. Following a timeout, the defense made a big stop on third down with rookies Joe Vellano and Chris Jones getting into the backfield to make the play on Houston’s Ben Tate. CLICK HERE FOR MUCH MORE: The Houston Texans May Put a Scare in the New England Patriots on Sunday

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The Houston Texans were a favorite this season to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl in the preseason. “Super Bowl or Bust” was the rallying cry of the Texans.  After jumping out to a 2-0 start to the season, the Texans got blown out by the defending world champion Ravens starting a 0-9 slide. Now the Patriots come to Houston to try and end their three game road losing streak this season in a game that looked like a big matchup before the season, but now looks like a mismatch.

Hold it right there. There is no such thing as a mismatch in the NFL.  At home, after losing to Jacksonville, the Texans are a team on a mission playing for pride at home this weekend against their arch-enemy.  Every pundit is pointing to an easy Patriots win, but this game could be a lot more difficult to win for New England and the final result a lot closer than anyone anticipates.

The Texans slide kicked off with the blowout against Baltimore in week three, but in week four they lost to Seattle in a game they should have won. The Texans lost to the Chiefs by one point in week seven, by three to the Colts the next week, by three to Arizona in week ten, by five to Oakland and by a touchdown last week. A few bounces, a few big plays, a little luck and the Texans could have seven or eight wins right now like everyone expected.

In addition, the Patriots are traveling 2,000 miles and are coming off two highly-charged, emotional games against strong opponents.  If there was ever a chance for a letdown, this is the kind of game it would happen. For the Patriots, this is still a dangerous opponent who would love nothing more than beating the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last season.  Here are two major areas where the Patriots need to play their best this afternoon against the Texans in order to win the game: CLICK HERE FOR MUCH MORE: New England Patriots’ Top 2019 NFL Draft Picks Show Evolution on Both Sides of the Ball

The New England Patriots may have tipped their hand with their first two 2019 NFL Draft picks. Choosing a bigger, more aggressive outside-...