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: http://musketfire.com/2013/12/01/new-england-patriots-comeback-exciting-win-road-houston-texans/