In The Red Zone: New England Patriots at Houston Texans Preview – Week 13

In The Red Zone

This Week

New England Patriots @ Houston Texans

The New England Patriots visit the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Patriots - The Texans
Overall Record 8-3 Overall Record 2-9
Road Record 2-3 Home Record 1-5
AFC South 0-0 AFC East 0-0
AFC 5-2 AFC 2-7

Pete Morelli is the referee for the game

The Line/Prediction

As of Thursday the line on the game from 5dimes.eu via Yahoo Sports has the Patriots at MINUS 9.  The over under is 47.  

My Prediction is Patriots 35, Texans, 14.  Give the points (Patriots) and take the over.  I am 3-8 against the spread and 5 of 11 on calling the over/under in 2013.

Tickets

Tickets to the game, if available, can be purchased through Ticketmaster.  You can check the availability here.

Getting to the Game

If you’re lucky enough to be going to the game in Houston TX make sure you check out the links.

Here is the up to date weather forecast from the Weather Channel for Houston TX.

Click for all the game day information including stadium directions, parking information and map and a Reliant Stadium seating chart.

Tailgating

Here’s a bunch of different tailgating recipes from Tailgating.com.  There’s something there for everyone and every type of meal or snack.  I’ve tried some of the recipes and they’re very good. 

And with tailgating many people enjoy some adult beverages.  With that in mind check out Drink Nation for how to make all sorts of great drinks.  You can look things up by name, ingredient(s) or theme.

Whether it’s at the game, a bar or a friend’s house moderation is always the key to a great time.  Please don’t drink and drive and designate a sober driver.  Remember drive sober or get pulled over.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

Television

CBS in televising the game regionally and Greg Gumbel will do play by play while Dan Dierdorf will provide the game analysis.  You can look here for your local affiliate.

See if you’re getting the game courtesy of J.P. Kirby at the506.com.

The DirecTV designation is Channel 709.

Here are all the rules on NFL TV broadcasts including explaining the blackout rules; flex scheduling and commercial breaks.

Radio

The Patriots Radio Network broadcasts the game from flagship station WBZ-FM, 98.5 the Sports Hub in Boston. Bob Socci handles the play-by-play and former Patriots QB Scott Zolak will do game analysis. It all starts with Gary Tanguay and Andy Gresh with the pregame show at 10 a.m. on the network. The post game starts after the final gun and continues for three hours along the network.

The Patriots Radio Network call is available on Sirius Channel 132 and SiriusXM Internet Channel 818.

The Texans Radio Network has Mark Vandermeer calling the game while former Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware provides the game analysis and Rich Lord covers the sideline via their flagship station KILT AM/FM.

Their call is available on Sirius Channel 92, XM Channel 225 and SiriusXM Internet Channel 812.

Sports USA Radio will carry the game to a national radio audience with Larry Kahn calling the play-by-play, Ross Tucker doing analysis and Troy West covers the sidelines.

Patriots All Access

Patriots All-Access features behind the scenes looks, interviews and breakdowns with head coach Bill Belichick and in depth features on the team.  It’s hosted by Steve Burton of WBZ-TV (Boston) and airs weekly in most New England television markets.

  • Boston MA on TV 38 Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
  • Providence RI on WNAC Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
  • Manchester NH on WMUR Saturday at midnight
  • Portland ME on WMTW Saturday at 5 a.m.
  • Hartford CT on WCTX Saturday at 5 p.m.
  • Springfield MA on WFXQ Saturday at 7 p.m.
  • Bangor ME on WVII Sunday at 11 a.m.

You can also watch it anytime on the teams website in the media section.

Last Week

The Patriots rallied from the largest halftime deficit in franchise history to beat the Broncos at home in OT 34-31.  The Texans lost at home to the Jaguars, 13-6.

History

  • This is the 6th meeting between the Patriots and the Texans since Houston became a franchise in 2002.
  • This is the third meeting between the teams at Reliant Stadium.
  • The Patriots lead the overall series 4-1 including playoffs.
  • Patriots beat the Texans twice in 2012. Once in Week 14, 42-14 and in the AFC Divisional Playoff, 41-28.  Both games were at Gillette Stadium.

Patriots Team Notes

New England PatriotsHere is the Patriots roster, depth chart and injury report for the game.

2013 Patriots Schedule/Results

The Patriots overall franchise record is 434-372-9.  They have won three Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX) in seven appearances.  Overall they are 24-17 in the post season.

They last appeared in the playoffs in 2012 when they beat Houston in the AFC Divisional Round 41-28 and lost to Baltimore 28-13 in the AFC Championship Game.

The Patriots were 12-4 (1-1 in playoffs) in 2012 and are the defending four-time AFC East Champions.  They have won the division 10 times and the conference 5 times since 2000.

Reliant Stadium, home of the Texans, is where New England won Super Bowl XXXVIII against Carolina, 32-29.

Patriots are 82-47-1 all-times vs. the teams that make up the AFC South.

In NFL history when trailing by 24 points or more at halftime teams are now 6-617 for a win percentage of .010

Since 2001 the Patriots are a NFL best 45-6 in December.

New England has lost their last 3 road games and have 3 of the next 4 games on the road.

Since 2000 the Patriots have a winning record against all 31 teams in the NFL.

New England is the only NFL team to finish .500 or better in each of the last 13 seasons.

A win Sunday gives the Patriots their 13th consecutive winning season (2001-present).  Since the 1970 merger only San Francisco (1983-98) and Dallas (1970-85) have had longer streaks as both went 16 consecutive winning seasons.

Since 2003 the Patriots have the NFL’s best record at 134-37.  The Indianapolis Colts are second 15 games behind.

Since 2000 under Bill Belichick the team is 85-22 in the second half.

Since 1994 the Patriots are PLUS 155 in turnover differential best in the NFL by a wide margin.  Kansas City is 2nd at PLUS 93 and Green Bay is 3rd at PLUS 72.

New England is PLUS 8 in turnover differential tied for 6th in the NFL.  They have 13 INT’s and have recovered 10 fumbles while they have thrown 7 INT’s and lost 8 fumbles.

The Patriots are 6th in points scored averaging 26.2 points per game and are tied for 9th in fewest points allowed with 20.9 points per game.

This is the 20th season of Patriots ownership by the Kraft family.  Since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994 they:

  • Have the most Super Bowl wins, 3.
  • Have the most regular season wins, 213.
  • Have the most wins including playoffs, 233.
  • Have the most conference titles, 6.
  • Have the most division titles, 12.
  • Have the most playoff wins, 20
  • Have played the most playoff games, 31.
  • Are tied for the most playoff seasons, 14.
  • The fewest head coaches within the division, 3.
  • Have drafted the most Pro Bowl players, 20.

From 1960 to 1993 the New England/Boston Patriots won a total of 225 games.  In the 20 years the Kraft family has owned the team they have now won 233 games including the three biggest in franchise history.

Patriots Staff Notes

This is the link to head coach Bill Belichick’s Wednesday press conference on the Texans.

Bill Belichick is 4-1 vs. the Texans in his career including playoffs.

Overall in his NFL career Belichick is 195-104 in his 19th NFL season as a head coach.  He is 159-60 with New England and 36-44 with Cleveland.  He is 18-8 in the playoffs, 17-7 as head coach of the Patriots in the post season.  When you combine his regular season and post season records he is 213-112.

Belichick’s 213 wins are good for 5th all-time.

He has won 5 conference titles; he needs one more to tied Don Shula’s record of 6.

He is the first head coach to have had 4 teams that scored at least 500 points in a season.

Belichick is one of five head coaches in NFL history whose father (Steve Belichick) played in the league.  The others are former Kansas City head coach Todd Haley (Dick Haley), former San Francisco head coach Mike Nolan (Dick Nolan), former Cincinnati head coach David Shula (Don Shula) and former NY Jets head coach Joe Walton (Frank Walton).

Belichick is one of just four coaches to win three Super Bowls, joining Chuck Noll (4), Joe Gibbs (3) and Bill Walsh (3).  Those men are all in the Hall of Fame.

He is the only coach in NFL history to win three championship titles in four seasons.

No coach either as the head coach or an assistant has appeared in more Super Bowls than Belichick who has been to 8 (five as a head coach).

He is the only coach in NFL history to have led his team to 10+ wins in 10 consecutive seasons.

He has been NFL Coach of the Year three times he and Chuck Knox are the only three time winners, while Don Shula won four times.

Only one of three coaches in NFL history with 100 more wins than loses joining Don Shula and George Halas.

Special Teams Coordinator Scott O’Brien coached at Rice University in 1986.

Wide Receivers Coach Chad O’Shea is from Houston and coached at the University of Houston from 1996-99.

Asst. Head Coach/Offensive Line Dante Scarnecchia coached at SMU 1975-76, 1980-81.

Patriots Possible Starters

Offense:

  • LT: Solder
  • LG: Mankins
  • C: Wendell
  • RG: Connolly
  • RT: Cannon
  • TE: Gronkowski
  • WR: Edelman
  • WR: Dobson
  • WR: Amendola
  • QB: Brady
  • RB: Vereen

Defense:

  • DE: Vellano
  • DT: Chr. Jones
  • DT: Sopoaga
  • DE: Cha. Jones
  • LB: Ninkovich
  • LB: Spikes
  • LB: Hightower
  • LCB: Ryan
  • RCB: Arrington
  • S: Harmon
  • S: McCourty

Patriots Players Notes

Tom Brady Notes:

  • This is his 14th NFL season he is 4-1 vs. the Texans in his career including 1-0 in the playoffs. He is 63-29 on the road in the regular season.
  • Overall he is 143-42 as a starting QB and is 17-7 in the playoffs for an overall record of 160-49.  He is an 8 time Pro Bowl QB; 3 time All-Pro selection; two time NFL MVP and has won 3 Super Bowls while twice being named the games MVP.  He is also listed as the 21st Greatest Player in the History of the NFL according to the NFL Network.
  • In his last two games against Houston including playoffs he is 46 for 75 (61%) for 640 yards while throwing 7 TD passes and 0 INT’s.
  • When the Patriots put up 55 points on Pittsburgh in Week 9 it marked the 6th 50-point game of Brady’s career tying the NFL record of Len Dawson.
  • With his Week 12 comeback win over Denver he now has 39 wins in his career (32 in the regular season and 7 in the playoffs) in which the team was trailing or tied in the fourth quarter.  It was the third time this season he also turned the trick at Buffalo in Week 1 and Week 6 vs. New Orleans.  In 29 of the 39 comeback wins the team was losing in the fourth quarter.
  • 351 TD passes in his career makes him 5th in NFL history one behind New Orleans QB Drew Brees
  • 143 career wins are 5th all-time.  Dan Marino is 4th with 147.
  • Is only 5th NFL QB to have achieved 140 regular season wins joining Peyton Manning, John Elway, Dan Marino and Brett Favre.
  • He had 30+ TD passes for the 3rd consecutive season and is just the fifth player to have four or more 30+ TD pass seasons.
  • He has thrown for 2 or more TD’s in 112 games; the team’s record is 96-16.
  • Tied Drew Brees for most 4 TD 0 INT games in his career with 15 after doing it against Pittsburgh Week 9.
  • In Week 11 made his 185th start under Bill Belichick the most for one QB/coach combo in NFL History.

Rob Gronkowski notes:

  • In 5 games he has 31 catches for 433-yards and 3 TD’s.
  • Caught his 200th career pass Week 9 vs. Pittsburgh.
  • Set franchise record with his 11th 100-yard game Week 9 vs. Pittsburgh.
  • Has 41 touchdown receptions from Tom Brady has the team record for the most touchdown receptions from Brady.
  • Has 41 touchdown receptions in 46 career games and became the fastest TE to 40 touchdown receptions.  Antonio Gates from San Diego previously held the record, reaching 40 touchdown receptions in 71 games.
  • Caught his 40th TD pass in Week 11 at Carolina.
  • His 41 TD catches put him 5th all-time on franchise list.  Gino Cappelletti is 4th with 42 TD catches.

Danny Amendola notes:

  • Had his 2nd 100-yard game as a Patriot vs. Pittsburgh in Week 9 it was the third of his career.  Also went over 100-yard in Week 1 win at Buffalo.
  • Caught his first TD pass from Tom Brady in week 9 win over Pittsburgh.
  • Has missed 4 games in 2014 due to injuries (groin, 3 and concussion, 1).
  • Is from The Woodlands TX and attended Texas Tech.

Julian Edelman notes:

  • Had a 43-yard punt return vs. Pittsburgh Week 9 it was the 10th punt return of 30 yards or more in his career.  That ranks third in team history.
  • With 1 more punt return for a TD he will set a new team record.  He is tied at 3 with Irving Fryar and Troy Brown.
  • He had his third career 100-yard game vs. Denver and the second this season he also had a 100-yard game Week 4 at Atlanta when he had a career high 118-yards on 7 catches.
  • Has two games with 2 TD catches in 2013, Week 1 at Buffalo and Week 12 vs. Denver.
  • Leads the team with 61 catches for 610 yards.  He had just 21 catches in 2012.

Stevan Ridley notes:

  • Had his 4th 2-TD game of his career against Pittsburgh in Week 9.
  • Leads the team with 576 rushing yards in 10 games.
  • Has team lead in TD’s with 7.
  • Has a rushing TD in 5 consecutive games.
  • Has 13 runs of 20 or more yards in his career and with one more will have the most on the team since 2000.  He is currently tied with Antwain Smith and Corey Dillon for the most in that time span.

Stephen Gostkowski notes:

  • He is the most accurate kicker by percentage in team history at 85.6% (196 0f 229).
  • Has scored at least 1 point in 102 consecutive games setting a new franchise record.
  • He has made 21 consecutive field goals; the team record is 23 set by Adam Viniateri.
  • He is 3rd in team history in points with 973 trailing only Gino Cappelletti (1,130) and Adam Vinatieri (1,158).
  • Set team record with his 9th career field goal of 50+ yards against the Saints in Week 6.
  • Has made 10 field goals of 40 or more yards in 2013.
  • Has two game winning field goals in 2013 Week 1 at Buffalo and Week 12 vs. Denver were the second and third game regular season winners in his career.
  • The 54-yard field goal against New Orleans set a new career long.

Rob Ninkovich notes:

  • Forced a fumble in Week 9 vs. Pittsburgh. It was his second this season and is tied for team lead with DB Kyle Arrington and S Devin McCourty.
  • Forced 5 fumbles in 2012 to tie a team record with LB Brandon Spikes.
  • Has 11 fumble recoveries since 2010 the most in the NFL in that span.
  • Leads the team with 2 fumble recoveries.

Joe Vellano notes:

  • Rookie made his first NFL start Week 5 at Cincinnati.
  • Has 37 tackles (24 solo) so far this season.
  • Registered his first NFL sack Week 4 at Atlanta.
  • Recovered his first fumble in the NFL Week 9 vs. Pittsburgh.
  • One of four father-son combo’s to be named All-American’s from the same Division 1 school.  The Chicago Bears drafted his father Paul in 1974.

Chris Jones notes:

  • Rookie had his first NFL sack Week 5 at Cincinnati.
  • Made first NFL start Week 6 vs. New Orleans and had 3 tackles.
  • Leads all NFL rookies with 5 sacks.
  • Was 6th round pick of Houston in the 2013 NFL Draft was released after training camp.

Brandon Spikes notes:

  • Leads the team in tackles made with 106 (64 solo).
  • He has 5 games with 10 plus tackles in 2013.
  • Had team high 22 tackles against Cincinnati.  It was a career high for Spikes.
  • He had career high 128 tackles in 2012 including 6 games with 10 or more tackles.

Chandler Jones notes:

  • Leads the team in sacks with 10.5 and QB hits with 19.
  • Is 3rd with most sacks in franchise history in first two seasons.
  • Blocked his first NFL field goal attempt Week 8 vs. Miami.
  • He forced 3 fumbles on sacks in 2012.

Aqib Talib notes:

  • Leads the team with 4 INT’s and 12 passes defensed.
  • Returned Week 11 at Carolina after he missed last 3 games due to a hip injury suffered against the Saints in Week 6.
  • Is from Richardson TX

Duron Harmon notes:

  • Had his first NFL INT vs. Miami in Week 8.
  • Had his 2nd career INT Week 9 vs. Pittsburgh and is second on the team in INT’s.
  • Made his first NFL start Week 11 at Carolina and had 3 tackles.

Logan Ryan notes:

  • Had his first NFL INT at New York in Week 7 and returned it 79-yards for a touchdown.
  • He was the 11th Patriots player to return his first INT for a TD.
  • Had 2nd NFL INT Week 12 vs. Denver that set up go ahead 4th quarter TD.
  • Forced a fumble on his first NFL sack Week 8 vs. Miami.  He later added a 2nd second sack in the game.

There are only two players on the team who played on at least one of the Super Bowl championship teams, Brady (3) and Wilfork (on IR) (1).

Roster moves this week:

  • Released DT Marcus Forston
  • Released DB Justin Green
  • Signed TE D.J. Williams to the 53-man roster.
  • Signed OL Patrick Ford to the practice squad.
  • Signed NT Sealver Siliga to the 53-man roster from the practice squad.
  • Signed DT Marcus Forston to the practice squad.
  • Signed DB Justin Green to the practice squad.

Patriots team captains for 2013:

Players with New England roots:

Players from New England based colleges and universities:

The Patriots have 6 retired numbers:

Texans Team Notes

Houston TexansHere is the Texans roster, depth chart and injury report for the game.

2013 Texans Schedule/Results

Houston’s all-time record is 79-108-0 they are 2-2 in the post season with their last post season appearance coming in 2012 when they beat the Cincinnati Bengals at home in the AFC Wild Card game and lost to the Patriots in the AFC Division game on the road.

They have never played in a Super Bowl.

Their first season was in 2002.  They began play on September 8, 2002 with a 19-10 win over Dallas.

Houston is 1-4 all-time vs. New England and is 1-1 in Reliant Stadium.

The Texans are 12-11 all-time against the AFC East.

Texans are 21-28 all-time in December.

After making the playoffs the last two seasons winning the AFC South the Texans will miss the post season in 2013 after starting 2-0 they have lost 9 consecutive games.

Last five losses have come by a combined deficit of 19 points.

Despite the 2-9 record the Texans have the NFL’s top rated defense.

Gave up a season low 13 points Week 12 vs. Jacksonville.

Texans are one of two teams since 2008 to have total offense, passing offense and rushing offense rank in the top five at least once.

2012 was the team’s winningest season they finished 12-4.

When Houston wore their lettermen jackets to Foxboro last December they were 11-1.  They are 3-12 since.  

This week was to be “Homecoming Week” for the Texans.  Well that’s what was announced before the season, now there is no mention of it anywhere on team website.

They are scoring 11.2 points less per game than in 2012. While allowing 7.9 more points per game than last season.

The Texans have a team song called “It’s Football Time in Houston” written and performed by country star, Clay Walker.  They tried to replace the song in 2003 with one written by Chad Kroeger of Nickelback but a near riot quickly ensued.

The Texans also use “Bulls on Parade” by Rage Against The Machine.  The song has given the defense its nickname, Bulls on Parade.

The Texans mascot is Toro.

The Texans are 30th in the NFL in points per game with 18.1.  While they allow 26.3 points per game good for 26th in the NFL.

Houston is MINUS 12 in turnover differential, tied for 30th in the NFL. The offense has given up 13 INT and 7 fumbles, while the defense has 4 INT and 4 fumble recoveries.

Texans Staff Notes

Read what Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak had to say to the New England media about the match up.

Houston head coach Gary Kubiak, is in his 8th season, he is 61-62 and 2-2 in the post season for an overall record of 63-64.

Kubiak is only the second head coach in Texans history he succeed Dom Capers who was 18-46 in the teams first four seasons.

Kubiak is 1-3 vs. New England.

He returned to coaching last week vs. Jacksonville from the booth after suffering a mini stroke just before halftime of Week 9 vs. Indianapolis on national television.

Texans Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison began his coaching career at Suffield Academy in Suffield CT.

Texans Special Teams Coordinator Joe Marciano coached the wide receivers at The University of Rhode Island from 1978-79.  He is one of just four staff members to have been part of every game in Texans history.

Texans Possible Starters

Offense:

  • LT: Brown
  • LG: W. Smith
  • C: Myers
  • RG: Brooks
  • RT: Newton
  • TE: Graham
  • TE: Griffin
  • WR: A. Johnson
  • WR: Hopkins
  • QB: Keenum
  • RB: Tate

Defense:

  • DE: Watt
  • DT: Mitchell
  • DT: A. Smith
  • DE: Mercilus
  • LB: Mays
  • LB: Sharpton
  • LB: Reed
  • LCB: McCain
  • RCB: Joseph
  • S: Swearinger
  • S: Keo

Texans Players Notes

Case Keenum notes:

  • Replaced a struggling Matt Schaub as Texans QB Week 7 at Kansas City.  Has 8 TD’s and 2 INT’s and a passer rating of 89.6 in his five starts.
  • He is in his 2nd season out of University of Houston as an undrafted free agent that was signed by Texans in 2012.
  • Spent 2012 on the practice squad.
  • He is 0-5 in his career.
  • He has never faced New England.
  • 15 of his 88 completions have gone for 25 yards or more.
  • All-time NCAA leader in passing yards, touchdowns and completions.

J.J. Watt notes:

  • In Week 12 had his 5th consecutive game with a sack vs. Jacksonville.
  • Blocked his 2nd field goal of the season Week 12 vs. Jacksonville.
  • Leads the NFL with 17 tackles for loss and 35 quarterback hits.
  • Leads the Texans with 93 tackles, 9.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two blocked field goals.
  • Needs half sack to have 2nd back-to-back 10 sack seasons in franchise history.
  • Needs 1 sack to have 7th most in first three seasons in NFL history.
  • 2012 AP Defensive Player of the Year
  • Set franchise record with 20.5 sacks in 2012.
  • In 2012 he became the first player since 1991 to have 15 sacks and 15 passes defensed in the same season.

Arian Foster notes:

  • On season ending IR with a back injury.
  • Was 2nd in NFL in rushing with 531 through 6 weeks when he was placed on the IR.

Brian Cushing notes:

  • Second season in a row ended by an injury.
  • 2011 Texans team MVP

Andre Johnson notes:

  • Leads team with 74 catches and 1,002 receiving yards.
  • Is a 6 time Pro Bowl selection.
  • Is 8 catches shy of 900 for his career.
  • He became the 6th fastest player in NFL history to 10,000 receiving yards.
  • Johnson has caught at least 1 pass in 113 consecutive games.
  • He has 19 games in his career with 10 catches and 100 yards that is the highest total in NFL history.
  • Has 48 career games with 100-yards receiving.
  • Averages 6.0 catches per game which is the highest per game average in NFL history.
  • Has franchise record of 149 games played.
  • Only pre-Kubiak player left on the roster.

Houston’s captains for 2013 are:

  • WR Andre Johnson
  • QB Matt Schaub
  • LB Brian Cushing
  • DE J.J. Watt
  • P Shane Lechler

Former Patriots playing for the Texans:

Players from New England colleges or universities:

Players with New England ties:

  • TE Ryan Griffin – Londonderry NH
  • T Brennan Williams – West Roxbury MA
  • LB Trevardo Williams – Bridgeport CT

The Texans have no retired numbers.

Next Week

Cleveland BrownsUp next: Cleveland Browns

Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro MA

Date/Time: Sunday December 8 at 1 p.m.

TV Network: CBS

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