BOSTON (CBS) – The New England Patriots are trying to downplay their 42-14 win over the Houston Texans during the regular season, but at the same time are learning from it.
Despite the lopsided score, the Patriots know the kind of challenge the Texans will bring Sunday afternoon in their divisional round playoff game at Gillette.
“I know the score looked like it was a certain way, but there were certain plays that we could have done a better job on and hopefully we can do a better job of this week,” said Brady. “They’re going to give us [their] best game and were going to try to give them our best game.”
“I think there’s a lot to be concerned about,” said Brady. “They’ve got a great front, some very experienced players at linebacker, a very athletic secondary. You saw what they did last week playing at home against Cincinnati there in the first half was pretty impressive. There are a lot of challenges for us, certainly from my standpoint.”
New England was able to contain Houston defensive lineman J.J. Watt, who only registered four tackles back in Week 14. The one ball he was able to punch out for a forced fumble ended up back in the hands of the Patriots, in the end zone none the less.
But containing Watt is never an easy task. Leading up to that Monday Night showdown, Bill Belichick had his defensive lineman holding up rackets in practice – simulating Watt’s freakish ability to knock down passes.
Watt didn’t get his hands on any of Brady’s throws five weeks ago, but that didn’t stop the rackets from re-appearing at practice this week — much to the chagrin #12.
“More of the same. It gets frustrating at times, but I think it’s a very good thing that coach does,” Brady said of the added obstacle at practice. “It just subliminally gets it in my head of his ability and their ability to defend passes at the line of scrimmage, which I’m sure teams try to do every week, but they get them every week. So that’s a big difference.”
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While the Patriots have their knowledge from last month’s match up – and the extra week of rest/preparations thanks to their first-round bye — Brady and company still have (and had) plenty to do in getting ready for the Texans.
“I don’t think you take for granted that you know everything about them,” he said. “The more time you have, the better you can understand, so to have a second week in five or six weeks to have the chance to prepare for them, yeah, you learn a lot of things. And it’s not like they’re going to be able to put in a whole new defense for us, but I’m sure there are things that will be different. There always are. I don’t think any game ever goes as planned. I think there is always a part of seeing how they’re playing you, being able to adjust and who can make the adjustments? Who can get those on the field and execute under pressure? That’s the team that’s going to win.”
Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Texans playoff game on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV. Kickoff is at 4:30pm, with pregame coverage beginning at 1pm on 98.5 with Patriots Preview, and 11:30am on WBZ-TV with a special hour-long edition of Patriots Gameday. Following the game, tune in to three hours of postgame coverage on the Hub, and Patriots 5th Quarter on myTV38!