The New England Patriots, coming off of their miraculous come-from-behind win against the Denver Broncos in Week 12, must now focus all their attention this week on the struggling Houston Texans. The Patriots have chosen the best time to begin clicking in the passing game as it should be a big factor in the gameplan this week.
The reason for that is because the Texans have struggled to fill their safety position all season long. They signed Ed Reed in the offseason in an attempt to fix the problem, but the move turned out to be a total bust and he was released just two weeks ago. Now they have D.J. Swearinger, a rookie still acclimating to the NFL game, and Shiloh Keo, a fill-in for injured safety Danieal Manning, starting at the the safety positions.
For the Patriots, they will have Rob Gronkowski, Shane Vereen, Kenbrell Thompkins, and a possible combination of Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola as receivers to exploit this weakness. I would expect Tom Brady to realize early on that he can throw deep between the safeties in this game thereby torching the inexperienced and inconsistent secondary that the Texans possess.
Particularly in Gronk’s case, I would expect a big day out of him as nobody in that secondary will be able to contain him for four quarters. With all of that said, the Patriots’ offensive line had better be prepared for the tough task of blocking J.J. Watt. If he wreaks havoc in the game the gameplan could wind up backfiring for them.