Hard to add to all the positives that we saw tonight. There are so many reasons that we are so lucky to be fans of this team and its organization. Let me count the ways. 1. You want to know why this team has won so consistently the last 12 years. The best example was the time out the Pats took one minute into the game after the Texans had run the ball 3 times and never had one under 10 yds, including the one called back. BB calls an immediate TO, and while I have no idea what adjustment they made, the immediate results was a 3 and out (2 runs for 5 yds and failed pass). I can't tell you how impressive that was. Clearly whatever they planned all week didn't work, and yet within 3 plays they figured out why they were getting gashed, devised the adjustment to fix it, and had the systems in place so that they could communicate the necessary information to their players and their players were coached well enough to make that adjustment work. Folks that is freakin' astonishing. There were a lot of critical plays early on in that game. The Hernandez fumble recovery, the McCourty interception, etc. However I think the turning point of this game came one minute into it, when BB called that TO. 2. BTW- BB called another defensive TO in that first half and it also resulted in a positive play for the Pats. 3. The PI on Welker early in the game was just a horrible call. I am shocked Perriera said it was a good call. The defensive player has a right to be there and it looked to me that Welker ran into him. I hate it when the refs reward teams for poorly executed plays......However...... I felt a lot better about that call when the Pats were flagged for a call that were easily as bad as that one that killed a promising drive. The OPI on Herandez looked more like holding on the DB than a OPI. I have no idea what the ref saw that made him throw that flag. The other injustice that some ref ESPN had in the booth called the OPI on Arrington a bad call. Arrington got perfect inside position on the receiver. He was in the best position to catch the ball. He had every right to his position, and he was knocked down by the receiver. It was an easy call. Yet some jamoke former ref in the booth calls it "bad call" because Arrington hadn't turned his head. 4. I will be frustrated all this week when ESPN will keep showing the Welker PI and NEVER show the equally bad call on Hernandez 5. That being said the ball DID bounce the Pats way. Houston SHoULD have recovered the Ridley fumble, and the Woodhead fumble almost looked like a pass to Lloyd. 6. Speaking of the Woodhead/Lloyd TD, Almost as amazing as Woody's run was Watt's effort to knock the ball out. 7. Speaking of Watt, he is clearly the best defensive player in the league. Its hard to watch the game and not be completely impressed with his play. Comparing him to Lawrence Taylor is NOT hyperbole. No offense to the Wake's. Miller's, JPP's and Smith's of the league, JJ Watt is playing at another level right now. Even when he's playing against you, he's a pleasure to watch. Its kind of frustrating to remember that there were a lot of mock drafts back in 2011 that had Watt coming to NE. He was a binky of mine back then, but by draft time it was becoming clear that he'd never last to us. 8. Almost as impressive as Vince Wilfolk's play on the field, was his post game interview with ESPN. What a great ambassador of this organization and the Patriot Way. If you didn't see it, I'd recommend you find a link to it. It will be well worth the search. 9. You can't say enough about the run defense in this game, especially after what we saw the first 3 plays of the game. Think about this stat. The Pats only gave up 92 yds on the ground, and close to 40 of those yds came on just 2 plays..... and one of those came in the 4th quarter. 10. The other defensive stat that impressed me was that Houston only converted TWO 3rd downs. Hard to believe that one from a team that had been at the bottom of the league in getting off the field on 3rd down form MOST of the last 2 years 11. Can't be more pleasantly surprise by the consistently good coverage we are getting from Alphonso Dennard. I keep waiting for the rookie breakdowns and I'm just not seeing them. Even when they complete passes against him, his coverage is tight and if he's missed a tackle this season, I can't remember it. If there is another 7th round pick that has had more of an impact on their team, I can't think of him. Its quite an amazing turn around for a kid who couldn't stay on the field for most of TC, and missed the first 5 games 12. Think about the mea culpas that so many media pukes and a few haters here are going to have to make about comments about Brandon Lloyd. Not only did he have an impact game, he caught the ball over the middle. Took big shots, and caught 7 of the 9 time he was targeted... and was open the other 2. I have no idea WHY he seemed to disappear the last few games, but ability was one of the reasons. 13 ...and speaking about mea culpas, there should be a few reserved for Steven Gregory, who covered well, and tackled even better. Clearly he'd been getting good coaching from Nate Ebner since his return from injury. 14. There have been several of us who have constantly told you that this was a much improved defense from last year's version. And while it might not have looked like it earlier in the season, it was clear to me that the potential was there, and it WOULD improve over time. Tonight the proof was revealed. While it still might not be a "dominating" defense, its getting better and is not that far away from becoming one. 15. Aqib Talib is not a "shut down" CB in the Revis-mode, but he has made a positive impact on this team already, and his impact will continue to grow as gets more experience with the defense. He was very cheap at the price. BTW- It was encouraging to see him walking around on the sideline after he got hurt. It looked like he could have returned if he had to. 16. Safety or CB, Devin McCourty looks like he's back to his rookie level of playing. You might not have noticed, but he went back to CB after Talib left the game, and did a great job. 17. Here is a short list of disappointments from this game a. That last TD pissed me off. It shouldn't have happened, and garbage time TD's like that, might keep the Pats from getting into the top 10 scoring defenses (which was one of my goals for them. b. I had high hopes for Ron Brace this season. I thought he was going to have a Cunningham-like resurgence from what I saw in the preseason. But after he came back from being hurt, he's never gotten many snaps, and him being inactive tonight probably signals the end of his Patriots tenure. c. As impressive as Dennard's rise to prominence has been, the apparent fall of Tavon Wilson's impact has been equally disappointing. He seems to be getting fewer and fewer snaps since McCourty moved to safety. His fall from grace has been almost as swift as Patrick Chung's d. I imagine Chandler Jones played well in run defense as he has all season. And he did have a pass block. However he didn't show much penetration in his pass rush in his return to duty. Both Ninko and Scott were more effective. I know its his first game back, but I was hoping for more. 18. Poor Ryan Mallett. He finally gets into a game. He finally gets to pass the ball. He puts it right on the money into a small window, and it winds up being picked off. IIRC he has as many picks as completions now. Its not easy backing up Tom F Brady. 19. A good word should be said for special teams. Both punt and KO coverage was again excellent. 20. Is it just me, or is Shane Vareen looking more and more like the RB we all hoped he'd be when we'd drafted him 21. t was good night to be a Pats fan. Lets all enjoy it tomorrow before we get into SF. The only bad news is that we will no longer be "under the radar". The mediots will all be jumping on the bandwagon and acting like they "knew it all the time".