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Idle thoughts - The Houston Match up. (Texan fans welcome)

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Jan 5, 2013.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    I was thrilled to see Houston win the game if ONLY from to hopefully end the Denver thread and rid the the board of all those Bronco wackos. There were a few good Bronco fans, but they were few and far between.

    I guess this would also be a good time to welcome back the well mannered Texan fans who, by and large impressed most of us with their football knowledge, reasonableness, and their willingness to talk football instead of smack. OK lets go

    1. The biggest over riding question: Ever since the end of the first game against the Texans, I have been wondering, if the 2 teams meet in the playoffs how Wade Phillips will play the Pats the 2nd time around.

    As we watched the Cinci game, we saw the Texan Defense playing its normal game. Which consists basically of an attacking front 7, that will alternatively blitz and cover, and tight man coverage from the CB's and at least one of the safeties. In other words what we saw today on TV was pretty much what we saw a few weeks ago in Foxboro.

    Well Wade didn't get to last in the league THIS long because he was an idiot (though we might get an argument from some Bills fans, who, btw, haven't been able to improve on him since he was fired). He came to Foxboro, the first time and played "his" game, the style that got him to 11-1, and was crushed. With JJ Watt playing as good a game as he can, the Pats laid on 42 points on what was then the best defense in the league, and it could have been worse

    What I can't wait to see is if Wade tries something different. Will he pull a Rex Ryan and do a 180 away from his basic philosophy and will the Pats see more match up zone coverages, 4 man rushes and some max coverage schemes like we saw from Rex that fateful night in January of 2011. OR will Wade decide to simply "stay with what got him here", and see if his aggressive, all or nothing style will work if they just execute it better, now that they have seen the Pats offense up close, and are more familiar with what they do.

    I'd be very interested to see what the Texan fans think Wade will do. They've seen him close up for the last 2 years and will probably have a better feel for what will happen. Personally I think if he tries what we saw the last time, it will be even worse than the last time now that Gronk is back and the OL is healthier. (assuming the OL really IS healthier). I think the Texans' only chance next week is if Wade is willing to channel his inner Rex and create a strategy that will completely catch the Pats offense off guard for at least a half

    Well only time will tell, but at least the discussion should be interesting.

    2. The Key Match Ups: The Pats D against the Houston O

    A. Overview: The Texans have a balanced offense but its still runs best when they pass off of play action.

    Adrian Foster is their key offensive force and can hurt you both in the run and passing game. Don't forget, though while the Pats bottled up Foster for the most part the Texans STILL rushed for 100 yds (though 40 game on 2 carries). and he ran for over 130 today against a very hot Cinci D.

    The next key guy is Andre Johnson. He is their go to receiver, and in the 3 games I've seen in the last month or so,(Pats, Colts, Cinci) everyone knew it and he STILL gets open. Just an awesome receiver.

    The 3rd key guy is the TE Owen Daniels. The Pats did a pretty good job on him the first time around, but TE's have been problematic for the Pats most of the season, and Daniels is a good one an generally one of Schaub's favorite targets (9 for 91 today)

    Finally there is Matt Schaub. He'll be routinely dismissed here and pretty much everywhere else as a 'not ready for primetime player'. But he DID manage 250 yds against us the first time. He moved the ball a few times well between the 20's, and had another 260 yds against a very good Cinci Defense. Don't sleep on Matt Schaub. He's a much better CB than Mark Sanchez,. and HE put up 330 against us with no weapons close to what Schaub has. Just say'in.

    The Strategy: Usually with BB coached team, playing a team the 2nd time around is generally an advantage for us. Assuming everyone will be healthy, I can see us being a little more aggressive this time around, continuing a pattern we've started to see the last few games.

    I would suspect that Talib will be locked on to Johnson with a little help from Gregory. I can see Chung being locked on to Foster (8 catches today, btw) in nickel coverages. He is NOT a guy I want to see matched up with a LB in the open field. I'm wondering who BB will put on Daniels in the nickel package. It will kill me to see that same old PAP, thrown to the TE 18 yds in the seam pass, completed. I don't care about the consequences I want at least THAT damned pass pattern stopped.

    Overall this could be a big game for Patrick Chung, especially after 2nd down. It could be a slow game for Spikes, because I see him pulled anytime it isn't first and 10 or the Texans are in a short yardage situation. I want to see Chung, not Spikes, on Foster on screens and wheel routes. And Chung is tough enough to play inside, and it keeps him out of the deeper coverages that get him in trouble.

    Our DL should see improved play this time around. Jones was a non factor in the game (only about 20 snaps ), and IIRC, in his first game back from injury. On Patriots All Access BB said he felt the Miami game was Jones' best all around game of the season. Now that is what I call GOOD news. We aren't sure about Ninko, but at least there is a chance, Cunningham didn't play the first game, and Scott has been coming on.

    on the inside, Deadrick or Love, that is the question. Deadrick has been getting more snaps lately, but I think Love is stouter against the run - The Houston OL could be the best OL we will see (the other is Denver's) But they still couldn't move Vince, and they will be challenged more this time with more complex schemes and looks.

    B. The Pats O vs the Texan D

    1. Remember "where's Waldo", well the game for the Pats this week is gonna be "where's Watt". I think Wade will try and move him around, all across the front 4 this week. He's a bad match up one on one for ANY of the Pats OLmen, and if he plays in just one spot, the Pats will be able to scheme a way to stop him. Wade HAS to move him.\, ergo the Pats have to find him and adjust.

    Last time he had no sacks, no deflections, no tackles for losses. It was the ONLY time this season that happened. That's kind of an amazing stat since he was clearly the most impactful and disruptive DLman we've seen all season. THAT's how good he is. We can statistically shut him out, and he still leaves us saying "Wow". The Pats will have to find Watt and not let him take over the game like he did today.

    The good news is that the Pats OL is light years better than the Bengals' OL. and hopefully healthier. Maybe even healthy enough they they all won't be on the injury report this week. ;)

    2. Houston's back end plays hard tight man to man coverage. They can be very effective if the refs "let them play". Personally I don't care. If they call it the same way for both sides. in fact, I'd prefer they "let them play". Last time they made a concerted effort to shut down Wes Welker, and they did, if you consider 3 for 53 and one drawn holding call being shut out. But they couldn't stop Hernandez 8 catches and Lloyd 7 for 90 - Add Gronk to the mix and Wade's match up problems are multiplied. It will impossible for him double Wes, and come close to cover the other 3 plus the RB's. I look for Wes to have a bigger day.

    Last time the Pats rushing attack was decent ( around 130 yds). After watching BJGE rush for 66yds in just 11 carries, 2 thoughts game to mind. WTF is wrong with Cinci's coaching staff not to give Benny more carries, and I think Cinci showed the Pats that there might be a chance do more running than we did last time.(29 rushes) I'd like to think if we rush it 30 times next week, we can do better than 130 yds by the group.

    Special Teams - We have one of the better coverage special teams in the league. Its going probably be the late game, and its going to be cold. The ball won't carry as much and there will be returnable KO's We are going to have to continue to be as good as we have all season, because a special teams score is one of the few ways they can leave with a win. the same goes for the punt coverage.

    Turn overs - We don't need a TO advantage, but we DO need TO equity. We can't have a SF situation happen again.

    Coaching - I think this is a bad match up for the Texans (but I admit I may be a bit biased) - Its not that Kubiak is an idiot, but he's not BB, and he doesn't have the playoff experience. He's still coaching not to lose, and that's not what it will take to win the game.

    Like I said in the beginning. The key match up is going to be what Wade Philips comes up with to try and stop the Pats offense, and how quickly and how well the Pats adjust to it. If he does the same old, same old, then Texan fans aren't going to be happy with the results.

    I will be brief with my final comment, because the Pats go into most games with the biggest Match up advantage of them all, and that is at QB, and if none of other factors existed, and all the rest of the Match Ups went in Houston's favor, the Pats would still have a better than average chance, because TFB is our QB.

    OK that should be enough to start the conversation. Let the war of words begin.
  2. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    To be honest ken, the Pats can pass on the Texans and they can run on the Texans. I watched New England put up 28 points on the 49ers in a little over 15 minutes.

    Forgive me if I feel confident but I think this game is going to come down to turnovers and the Texans trying to run as much as they can to keep the ball out of Brady's hands. If the Pats run D comes to play it's going to be difficult for the Texans.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  3. Archeryaddict12

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    I think the texans football team is one that can't beat the pats. Now they have to cover gronk and a healthier patriots team. Now the texans can give is a run for our Money but I don't think the texans can win from their staple D and O.


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    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  4. woolster22

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    I simply do not see the Texans running well against this defense without first stretching the field. All season this team has embarrassed well established running games. Spikes knocking Jackson anyone? Even lynch in Seattle didn't do all that much. Andre, Daniels and Schaub will have to dictate this game for the Texans offense to be effective.

    On the other side, our o line needs to show up, and the young backs need to hold onto the ball. If they can keep watt under control, and open a few seems here and there, I like our chances.

    In a perfect world, we jump out to a big lead allowing hooman to displace gronk while we shorten the game. Realistically, it's a four point game, and that makes me nervous.

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  5. Brady_to_Moss

    Brady_to_Moss Revis Island is here PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If Brady gets time in the pocket..he will go off and it won't be close...and to do this they need a run game to keep the DL worried about both. Running game will be key.

    Double johnson as walter and daniels don't worry me. Stuff the box and don't let foster go off. Make Schaub beat you
  6. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Sure they can beat the Pats. The Texans are a good team, and any good team can beat any other. It's just a matter of mistakes and bounces. The Pats should have the advantage, but there are plenty of ways they can lose this game. Personally, I cringe every time I read one of these "we can't possibly lose" posts.

    Congrats to the Texans on beating Cincy and re-grouping. Houston's a good team. They probably peaked too early and then got banged up. They held on for a while against a bunch of injuries winning some close games but then seemed to have the wind taken out of their sails after the loss to the Pats and struggled, but they're still in it. Kudos to them for being resilient and hanging around. As we would be saying if the Patriots had won today's game, an ugly win is still a win. As for next week, it's always harder to beat a team you've beaten soundly the second time around, and sometimes ugly wins are the preludes to breakout performances. The Texans will be very motivated, and things won't be as easy as they were the first time. Both teams have some people back who were out with injuries in the first game. Both teams have had a chance to se what the other can do. It will be a good game.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  7. Bhelmet

    Bhelmet Rookie

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    I, too, look forward to the rematch. I have to think BB emphasizes stopping Foster - make Schaub beat us. I don't expect a blowout, but Foster was used heavily today - that helps us. However, we are depending on some guys being healthy - Dennard, Talib, Nink, Spikes. All but one got some weeks off - hopefully that helps us. A lot comes down to how much this game took out of Houston as well. Cannot wait until next week.
  8. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday Rookie

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    Houston is an inflexible team IMO.

    They will play the same, but merely execute better. That's enough to worry us - they didn't execute against the Patriots.
  9. TexansUSMC0311

    TexansUSMC0311 Rookie

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    Hello everyone, Texans fan here! First and foremost, I just wanted to wish you all the best of luck this upcoming weekend against my team and may the best team win. I have always been a fan of the Pats and have dreamt of the Texans becoming a great franchise such as yours. With all that said, it is going to be extremely tough for us to beat you guys in Foxboro next weekend but anything is possible on any given Sunday.

    Can we win? Sure. Will it be easy? Heck no!

    In order for us to beat your team next weekend we are going to need:

    1.) Commit no penalties. We can not allow Brady a fresh set of downs especially when we hold him to 3 and out. It kills us when ever he gets the ball back. Almost everytime he will make us pay.

    2.) Wade needs to watch a bit of that 49ers tape and learn the best possible way to neutralize Brady's deadly quick mid passes. Now you have Gronk back, oh geez. Brady makes us pay BIG every time we come in there SHOWING HIM the blitz. We need to calm down, and rush with four but change up the man coverage and do a bit more zone coverages. We have been way too predictable lately. Thanfully, I think our secondary is a bit better than the last time we played you all.

    3.) Kubiak needs to grow a pair. If it is 4th down and INCHES, we need to go for it! We can not settle for FGs like we've been doing all month! We need TDs or Brady will laugh in our faces.

    4.) Our running game w/ Arian Foster. WE NEED HIM to create plays or we will be screwed. Once we put all the pressure on Schaub in the shotgun, call it game over. Schaub is a systematic QB, he needs everyone on the team to be doing their part correctly in order for us to succeed. If we can't keep your front honest with the run game then Schaub will more than likely crumble under pressure.

    5.) Our receivers CAN NOT drop crucial passes! This frustrates Schaub, and we all know what happens to Schaub when things aren't going his way.

    Basically, we need to play the perfect game and EXECUTE. If we can EXECUTE our plays correctly, and everyone does their job, then we will have a fun game to watch. If we can't, well then you will see Schaub crumble before your eyes and this will be a blow out.

    I apologize if I'm all over the place, I've had quite some kool-aid celebrating the Texans win against the Bengals :singing:
  10. Sciz

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    I completely agree with this. That's why I'm not overly worried unless the Pats self-destruct like they have a few times this season.

    That offense lives and dies off playaction. Schaub isn't the kind of guy who can sit in the shotgun and pass all day. He's just not reliable enough. He needs that threat of the run to keep defenses on their toes, and if the Texans can't get the run going, then they're toast.

    On defense, I think it's more of the Texans refusing to be flexible. You'd think that they could manage to put together a nickel defense to play the Pats. Nope, all they ran last time was their base defense and then straight to their dime defense, just like every other game this season. Now that the Pats have Gronk back, the base and dime packages will be even worse mismatches against the Pats. If the Pats go 2-TE, 2-wide, then the Texans are either going cover-0 or putting a linebacker on one of Gronkowski and Hernandez. If the Pats go 3-wide with Gronk and Ridley, then the Texans are stuck with a dime front against essentially 6 offensive linemen. And if the Pats go 3-wide with Gronk and Ridley, they're going to have success running and then they're going to be able to pull out the playaction. That's just asking to be destroyed.

    So unless the Texans do what the Steelers did last year and completely break every tendency against the Pats, something they didn't do in "the biggest game in franchise history," I don't see how the Pats score less than 35 or how the Texans get more than 21. Count me in the awfully confident group.
  11. TexansUSMC0311

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    As a Texans fan, this hurts to read but it is so true. We are a running team. I hope we can stay on the field long enough to tire down your defense and make some plays or like you said, we are toast.
  12. Brady_to_Moss

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    fans that actually come in with good conversation? wow a first here at pats fans becasue it sure as hell doesn't come from bronco or jets fans..
  13. Hael

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    Houston on paper has the one thing that historically bothers Brady. Namely an interior push that gets penetration up the middle.

    Surprisingly they didn't use that as much as say the giants. So I mean, rush 3 or 4, keep everyone else in shifting and confusing zone/man mixes and make Brady hold on to it a few seconds longer than usual, where he can get jittery when Watt breaks a double team.

    That forces NE to run the ball. Which is what you want them to beat you with if your Kubiak.
  14. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    OK but please give me some insight into Wade Philips. Do you think he's the kind of DC who can change his stripes, or will he come to NE and try to do to the Pats what he did today to Cinci, and what he did the last time he was here?
  15. SVN

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    I think people forget in the december game that after the intial 21 pts , we went 3 and out or had very short drives for long a time. They really started getting hits on brady and forced brady to throw deep which kept trying until he hit stallworth. Gronk can make a diff but they also didnt have reed .Plus our oline has shown tendencies to crap the bed at times namely vs 49ers and jax. If brady is forced to throw quick and isnt give much time, this could be trouble for the pats and the texans are certainly capable of that. Somehow iam not so buoyant as some here proclaiming the texans cant stop us. This is how everyone used to think about the colts in the playoffs .A good defense like the texans can certainly stop us especially since they played us once and have some knowledge of our tendencies.
  16. SVN

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    Texans can take a page out of the 49ers who when they came here opened up with all passing and some bold/creative playcalling. If kubiak tries that and takes some chances it could catch the pats off guard.
  17. goheels22002

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    Andy Dalton threw 0 TDs on 14 of 30 with 1 interception and got sacked 2 times. The Bengals offensive lines was awful. By comparison, Brady threw for 4 TDs on 21 of 35 passes, zero interceptions and was sacked once against the same defense a month ago. Night and day.

    The Patriots will score their points. It's up to Schaub to keep up. Arian Foster ran the ball 32 times against the Bengals tonight. I doubt they'll be able to pound the rock against the Pats' front seven, definitely not if they're playing from behind. Foster also caught 8 passes. He has to be beat up after 40 touches.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  18. supafly

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    Actually, the Texans will have all 3 TE's healthy as one of them was out for the December game. I can't remember his name off hand, but he played yesterday vs Cincy. This could actually prove to see more of Spikes, not less, as there is a good chance that we could be in the base more often than not. Even in the first matchup with only 2 healthy TE's, I believe that 47/70 plays were in the base defense.

    I do agree though that it'd be nice to see either Chung or Wilson acting as the protector against those middle of the field problems in sub packages. If they can effectively limit A.Johnson, Schaub then looks to his security blanket TE's, so that will be a big part of their offense. Obviously they'll need to keep Foster in check again, but those insanely effective play action passes are what worry me. We were able to see less of them in the first meeting simply due to the 2 quick TD's, which then became a 21-0 lead. Unless we once again can get off to a decent lead, I expect a lot more of the play action attempts, with a focus also on the middle of the field routes down the seam.



    Even with no passes deflected and no sacks or tackles for losses, he still managed to produce either 4 or 5 QB hurries (depending upon who credits the stat as I have seen both 4 and 5), and managed to put 3 QB hits on Brady. He also caused a fumble too, so even though he was very "quiet" for his terms, improvements can be made, and he certainly will be a force for all of the offensive line, RB's on the blitz pickup, and obviously Tom Brady too.

    One thing of note, Brady was able to get the ball off on an average of 2.27 seconds to his targets in that game, which profootballfocus rates as being one of the quickest in the entire league this year out of all of the NFL games. That is certainly something that they had planned to do, and will likely try and replicate once again.

    He will once again be the main focal point of our line scheming, and I hope they are up to the task. If only we had moved up in the 2011 draft. It makes you think of what could have been..in hindsight it's very easy to look back, especially with Dowling failing to do anything whatsoever at pick #33, although I hate to do that due to it not being too fair for most involved. It does still eat at me a bit though when I think of the possibilities that would have created. Having followed the Big 10 conference closely, I was an enormous advocate of moving up for the big guy.
  19. supafly

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    I couldn't agree more. As we found out in the NYJ blowout in early Dec.2010, the second meeting can be much different.

    The first game started off with Foster running for carries of 12 and 15 yds (although one was called back for an illegal shift IIRC), and we all know that he is one of the best RB's in the entire NFL. Not only that, Johnson still gained almost 100 yds on 8 catches, many vs Talib, so that is another matchup to keep an eye on too.

    The NE defense was able to get a huge stop with the DMcC pick after allowing them to march down the field, and that was really the turning point of the game in my opinion. After that the offense was able to score quickly to go up 14-0, and that set the tone for the rest of the night. I'm not sure that we'll get as lucky the second time around though, so it will once again come down to the individual matchups and they have to execute to the fullest extent.

    The HOU defense certainly settled down and I believe they stopped us on 4 consecutive drives where they basically got nothing at all, so their scheme was working on some level, particularly when they adjusted.

    I think that we are still obviously the better team, but I also think that Houston matches up a lot better than most people are giving them credit for. They have the revenge factor in mind too, and will certainly feel disrespected with the double digit pointspread and talk of another blowout.

    That all said, there were also many, many good things that our team did that night, from bottling up Foster to keeping pressure on Schaub and creating turnovers. If they can contain the RB once again, and Talib can limit Johnson, they have an excellent shot at winning the game. They'll need to watch those TE routes down the middle, and they'll need to make it uncomfortable for the QB, but if those things can be achieved, we should be good.

    I'm not trying to make them out to be the "1972 Dolphins" as Rob would say, but I do think that Houston has the capability to keep this game a lot closer than most imagine. I hope I'm wrong because my nerves are already getting too worked up and it's still more than a week away.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  20. Fencer

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    Ken, you seem to be suggesting that BB will assign two different Pats to be the personal watchdogs for two different opposing players. Really? When has he done that before in the history of ever?

    Great call on your part if he actually does it.
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