Tom Brady and the New England Patriots made a statement against the Houston Texans
NFL

Tom Brady and the Patriots left no doubt about their place in the AFC

12/11/12 in NFL   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

FanIQ | Sports Rumors, Gossip, Blogs, News & Discussion ForumsBefore last night's matchup between the Houston Texans and the New England Patriots, the Texans appeared to be the class of the AFC. At 11-1. they had a comfortable lead over everyone else in the AFC, and looked to be in control of the conference.

After their 42-14 loss to the Patriots last night, there are suddenly a lot of questions about the Texans as legitimate contenders. Yes, they're better than most teams in football, but are they legitimate Super Bowl contenders?

Based on their dismantling at the hands of the Patriots, it's hard to be all that confident in them. Keep in mind that the Packers did almost the same thing to the Texans back in week 6, beating them 42-24.

The Texans have a solid pass rush, led by defensive Player of the Year candidate JJ Watt. They also have arguably the best running back in football in Arian Foster.

Unfortunately, when you have a QB who gets rid of the ball quickly and is able to carve up defenses like a Thanksgiving turkey, as Tom Brady tends to do, it neutralizes Watt and makes Foster almost irrelevant.

The Texans immediately fell behind, and therefore were unable to really get the running game moving at a level they're accustomed to.

The Texans are still a damn good team, and it wouldn't surprise anyone if they finished the season with the #1 seed and eventually hosted the AFC Championship game.

That having been said, the Patriots sent a very clear message to the rest of the AFC. The road to the Super Bowl goes through them. Next week, when they play the 49ers, they'll try to send the same message to one of the best teams in the NFC. We'll see how that works out.
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12/14/12   |   w_g_walters   |   223 respect

Pat wrote:
The problem wasn't Foster being ineffective. It doesn't matter how good or bad your running game is if you're down 14 in the 1st quarter. Your running game becomes irrelevant at that point, since you have to throw the ball to play catch-up.

The problem is that since Foster's running game isn't up to par, the Texans gave the Pats better field position. Kinda like the Chicago game, but facing a better offense.

Having both a running and passing game is vital. You use one to distract from the other. If you pass too often, the opposing D will wise up; same with running too much. Foster hasn't gotten it going, and Johnson hasn't had that many great games. It's been up to Kevin Walter, Justin Forsett, and Owen Daniels to take attention away from Foster and Johnson, which they've done a good job at, but your starts have to shine.

A fourteen point first quarter deficit is nothing like in the fourth quarter. You still have lots of time to make adjustments, and those adjustments are what put you back in the game. If it means passing, then pass, but it may also mean running more. The Texans had trouble making those adjustments against both the Pats and the Packers because they had to rely on the same players throughout the game.

One thing the article mentioned that I fully agree with is that Brady knew how to handle J.J. Watt--don't throw in his direction and run plays where the QB avoids that position. Granted, if you went to a random game, you probably wouldn't see a Watt or an Urlacher, but you would see names you recognize on offense, and the Texans O just didn't have a way to get the big names going. While Johnson did well, the running game didn't get off the ground, except Ben Tate, who had the same number of yards as Foster on half as many carries. Kubiak should have gone to him more; instead, he relied on the "big man" to pull them through.

I'm not saying Foster's a bad player, he just hasn't come through this season. But if he's going to keep the name he's made for himself, he's got to pick up his game.

12/11/12   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

w_g_walters wrote:
Nothing listed in this article is the real problem. The problem is that Arian Foster only averaged 3 yards on 15 carries, and his longest all year has been 18. And if you look at the schedule, the Texans have it fairly easy. They had HUGE wins early, including Denver and Baltimore, but they've struggled for wins since the Chicago game. Forsett has helped, but Foster has to break out of this slump before Houston has any chance of going to the SuperBowl.

The problem wasn't Foster being ineffective. It doesn't matter how good or bad your running game is if you're down 14 in the 1st quarter. Your running game becomes irrelevant at that point, since you have to throw the ball to play catch-up.

12/11/12   |   w_g_walters   |   223 respect

Nothing listed in this article is the real problem. The problem is that Arian Foster only averaged 3 yards on 15 carries, and his longest all year has been 18. And if you look at the schedule, the Texans have it fairly easy. They had HUGE wins early, including Denver and Baltimore, but they've struggled for wins since the Chicago game. Forsett has helped, but Foster has to break out of this slump before Houston has any chance of going to the SuperBowl.

12/11/12   |   Scott   |   53719 respect

Justifiably so, there have been a lot of people hesitant to jump on both the Texans and the Atlanta Falcons bandwagon.  These things tend to happen until you can prove it consistently when it matters most... the playoffs.