By: Russ Goldman
Each week I am going to look back, and give you six takeaways I got from watching the Patriots game. I want this to be a balanced post so I am going to give you an equal share of the positive and the negative takeaways in this match-up for the Pats.
1. Julian Edelman continues to make catch after catch for the Patriots offense. I know I mentioned him last week, but Edelman made some huge receptions yesterday, and scary to say reminded me of Wes Welker.
Edelman ended the day with nine receptions for 101 yards against the Texans. He now has 70 receptions for the season, and continues to prove me wrong.
2. Tom Brady had an elite quarterback performance against the Texans. I always believed that the Patriots offense would get back into gear, once a few players returned from injuries.
Well, now you are seeing an offense that is really getting into shape, and Brady looks like a future Hall Of Fame quarterback once again. He ended the game throwing for 371 yards, and two touchdowns. He was on his game especially in the second half.
3. Special Teams makes a big impact in this game. The kick-off returns this season have been horrible, but in this game, they made a difference. Josh Boyce had a total of 149 in six returns, and his longest went for 41 yards.
Stephen Gostkowski missed one field goal, but hit two clutch 53 yard field goals in this game. His last field goal was the difference in the game. Special teams overall stepped up against the Texans.
Stephen Gostkowski hits two field goals against the Texans.
(USA TODAY Images)
1. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower continues to be a problem on defense for the Patriots. Unfortunately, it is now two weeks in a row that he has been in the negative category, and his lack of play is affecting both the run and pass defense.
I don’t know why we did not see more of Dane Fletcher in this game as he only had 12 snaps. Hightower was in on 49 snaps, and he is not worthy of that much playing time right now.
2.The run defense was poor against the Texans. The Patriots gave up 121 yards on the ground, and this is just unacceptable against a team who was missing Arian Foster. On top of that, running back Ben Tate had three touchdowns, and really gashed the Patriots defense.
3. Cornerback Kyle Arrington struggled on the outside against the Texans. On one catch for DeAndre Hopkins, it seemed like he gave up on the play. Arrington is a great slot corner, but when he is on the outside he is a liability.
In concluding, once again this was a game of two halves, as at the end of the first half we saw the Patriots trailing by ten points. We are seeing too much of this lately by the Patriots, and needs to stop moving forward.
However, once again we saw the Patriots play a great second half, and find a way to win. No matter what I criticize, the bottom line is the Patriots won this game. It is a good sign that they win these close games, because it should prepare them well for what to expect in the playoffs.