As Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson regales Sports Illustrated readers with tales of late night bank deposit monitoring, his team prepares for their biggest challenge of the 2019 season: The New England Patriots.
The first time your Texans faced the Patriots on November 23, 2003, Tom Brady threw a game-tying touchdown with 40 seconds left in regulation. Former Patriots-turned-Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri booted the game-winning 28-yard field goal in overtime to give New England a 23-20 victory over Houston. Since that game, the Patriots are 8-1 against the Texans. Some more facts:
- On January 3rd of 2010, the Texans got their first victory over the Pats. This Sunday, they need to land win #2.
- Houston head coach Bill O’Brien, a former Patriots coach, is 0-4 against his former employers, while the Belichick led Patriots are 8-1 as he’s been the Patriots head coach for the Texans entire existence.
- The Patriots offense is currently averaging 27.3 points per game, while their defense is giving up a stingy 10.6 per game.
- Houston’s offense is averaging 24.1 points per game as their defense is giving up and average 22.6 per game.
- The Patriots offense is not outperforming Houston’s, averaging 352.8 yards per outing while the Texans are gaining 381.6.
- Tom Brady has completed 273 passes on 439 attempts for 2942, 15 touchdowns, 5 picks and a rating of 88.4.
- Deshaun Watson is on fire with 249 completions in 361 attempts for 2899 yards, 20 touchdowns, 7 INTs and a rating of 103.4.
Captain Butt Fumble disses Texans on National TV.
- New England’s tailback Sony Michel has 174 carries for 600 yards, averaging 3.4 per carry and finding the end zone 6 times so far.
- Houston’s Carlos Hyde has an equal number of carries with 174 gaining a superior 836 yards with a better average of 4.8 per carry and finding the promised land 4 times this season.
- Patriots wideout Julian Edelman has 76 catches for 809 yards, averaging 10.6 per catch and scoring on 4 of his catches.
- Texans all-pro DeAndre Hopkins has 81 catches for 839 yards, a 10.4 yard per catch average and 6 trips across the goal line.
- New England’s Jamie Collins has 6 QB sacks thus far.
- Houston’s Whitney Mercilus still has 5.5 sacks.
- Patriots DB Devin McCourty has 5 interceptions, tied for 1st in the NFL this season.
- Texans safety Tashaun Gipson leads the team with 2.
- New England is doing the majority of their damage to opponents in the takeaway battle, with a current over/under of +19.
- Houston is at break even with 14 giveaways and 14 takeaways.
- Patriots kicker Nick Folk has 24 points, going 3/3 on PATs and 7/9 FGs.
- Texans kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn, the best in the league last season, is struggling a bit this year with 71 points, missing 5 extra points (26/31) and 5 field goals (15/20).
- The New England Patriots have 10+ wins in 17 consecutive seasons which is the most in NFL history.
- Tom Brady passed for 190 yards & 1 TD last week. He currently has 1,548 pass yards (309.6 per game) with 16 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 119.9 rating in his past 5 vs. Houston.
- Deshaun Watson had 298 pass yards & 2 TDs vs. 1 INT for 104.6 rating last week. He has 1,003 pass yards (334.3 per game), 10 TDs vs. 1 INT for 132.1 rating in his past 3 at home. Watson has 18 pass TDs vs. 3 INTs for 118.6 rating in 7 career primetime games. Aims for his 4th in row at home with 100+ rating.
- Sony Michel led the Patriots with 85 rush yards last week. He has 6 rush TDs in his past 6 primetime games.
- James White had TD catch in last meeting. Since 2015, leads all RBs in catches (292), rec. yards (2,555) & rec. TDs (20).
- Carlos Hyde had 67 rush yards in Week 12. He racked up 110 scrimmage yards (86 rush, 24 rec.) in only career game vs. New England (11/20/16 with the San Francisco 49ers).
- Julian Edelman had team-high 8 catches for 93 yards in Week 12. Had 8 catches for 137 yards in 2016 Divisional playoff game vs. Houston (1/14/17). He has 100+ rec. yards in 3 of 4 career games vs. Houston (incl. postseason). Edelman aims for his 6th in row vs. AFC South with 75+ rec. yards.
- DeAndre Hopkins had 6 catches for 94 yards & 2 TDs in Week 12, his 10th career game with 2+ rec. TDs. Ties for 3rd-longest streak of seasons with 800+ rec. yards (7) to begin career in NFL history. D-Hop had 8 catches for 78 yards in last meeting with New England.
- Will Fuller V had 7 catches for 140 yards last week. Has 21 catches, 357 rec. yards (178.5 per game) & 3 TD catches in his past 2 at home. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with 7+ catches & 140+ rec. yards.
- Kenny Stills had 8 catches for 135 yards & TD catch in his last game vs. NE (12/9/18 with Miami).
- Stephon Gilmore had 2 passes defensed & an interception last week. Aims for 3rd in row vs. Houston with an interception.
- Devin McCourty forced 1 fumble in Week 12. Tied for NFL lead with 5 INTs in 2019.
- Jamie Collins had team-high 10 tackles & FF last week. Is only player in NFL with 6 sacks, 3 FFs & 3 INTs in 2019.
- Zach Cunningham had career-high 16 tackles in Week 12. He’s shooting for his 3rd in row with 10+ tackles.
- Benardrick McKinney had 11 tackles last week. He’s aiming for his 3rd in row vs. AFC East with 2+ passes defensed.
- D.J. Reader had career-high 2 sacks in last meeting.
It’s pretty clear the Patriots are once again getting it done. The Texans will have their hands full on Sunday night, but if the defense can at least hold their own while the offense gets hot, this could be the game that Deshaun Watson shows the world he’s the phenom we all know him to be.
Which stats are you keying in on here? Which concern you the most? Who do you think will have a statistical breakout game Sunday night? Give us your thoughts in the comments section.