by Kennedy Ross
Cold, Hard Football Facts AFC East Overlord (@FNscribeNY)
It was still a game at the half, even though it didn't feel like it. The Houston Texans seemed to learn a few things from their many mistakes in their last encounter with New England. But in the end, they couldn't stop Tom Brady and the Patriots from victory.
The weapons on the Patriots offense were depleted early with All Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski re-injuring his broken fore arm in the first quarter. And before that, running back Danny Woodhead hurt his thumb on the very first offensive play for the Patriots.
Woodhead may be back next week, but Gronkowski won't. He is reported to have broken his arm again, and will be heading to season ending surgery in the days to come.
Picking up the slack for those two key players was running back Shane Vereen. Vereen averaged almost six YPC on his way to 41 yards total and one rushing touchdown. But Vereen wasn't done. He then took his talents to the air and caught five balls for 83 yards and two touchdowns.
Wes Welker not surprisingly led the wide receivers with eight catches for 131 yards. Averaging over 16 YPC against the (supposedly) formidable Texan defense.
Brady orchestrated the offensive performance with his usual top notch skills. Brady threw for 343 yards and threw two touchdowns in what was a nervous match up for all of eight minutes or so.
The Patriot defense was active and smothering at times. Neither Arian Foster nor Andre Johnson accrued 100 yards in this game. And Matt Schaub was off target and just seemed lost at times.
They tried to make their run in the fourth quarter, but they couldn't stop New England from scoring.
With this win Brady set a record for the most post season wins by any quarterback in league history. This is the third meeting of these two teams and all have been won by the Patriots. And each time the Patriots have scored at leas 40 points.
Next week they host the surging Baltimore Ravens; who by Ray Lewis' account is on a mission from God. "Joliet" Jake Blues will be watching this one closely from above.
One of the four losses handed to the Patriots this year came at the hands of the Ravens. So they will come into Foxboro with confidence and hunger. Lewis is retiring whenever the season ends. He and his teammates want desperately for that to be in New Orleans not in New England under red, white, and blue confetti.
Good luck with that.