|Posted by Christian on December 7, 2012 at 5:25 PM|
This weeks Sports Central game of the week: Texans at Patriots
This week on Monday Night Football the New England Patriots (9-3) will host the Houston Texans (11-1). Houston, who has a two game lead on the rest of the AFC, can prove they are the team to beat this week in New England. The Patriots aren't ready to let that happen, and are looking for a huge win this Monday night.
These powers each bring a six-game winning streak into Monday nights game in Foxborough, Houston is putting its unbeaten road record on the line against the 2nd place Patriots, who clinched their division last Sunday.
These teams have only met 3 times before, once in New England, where Houston lost 40-7 in 2006, but the possibility of a new rival is very close to reality with the chance of a more important match up in the playoffs.
Last year in the franchises first post season appearence, Houston came close to playing the Patriots in the AFC Championship game, but lost to Baltimore in the divisional round. This year quarterback Matt Schaub is healthy, and along with star defensive end J.J. Watt, the Texans have taken another step forward to making it deeper into the playoffs.
Last week the Texans reached thier first double-digit win in franchise history against Tennesee, quarterback Matt Schaub threw a pair of touchdown passes and star defensive end J.J. Watt had two sacks along with his 14th and 15th passes defensed, giving him more than twice as many as any other defensive lineman.
Tom Brady on Watt, "He's an incredible player," Brady said. "He does pretty much everything for them." Patriots coach Bill Belichick joked that they Patriots would be using brooms in practice this past week to simulate Watts long arms.
In the last three weeks Houston has allowed 352.0 passing yards, a troubling issue giving the injuries to Houstons secondary going into Monday nights game with the Patriots explosive passing attack.
For the Texans Cornerback Brice McCain out and All-Pro Johnathan Joseph day to day after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury. Linebacker Brooks Reed (groin) remains out, although Bradie James (hamstring) may return following a one-game absence.
For the patriots adjusting to tight end Rob Gronkowski's absence has been tough, and losing wide receiver Julian Edelman for the season last week due to a foot injury did not help the situation. To help pick up the slack the Patriots re-signed receiver Donte' Stallworth on Tuesday.
Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez, though, may also continue to pick up the slack. That duo combined for 20 catches and 200 yards against Miami, and Welker is back on top of the NFL with 92 receptions.
The last time the Patriots faced Houston, Welker tore his left ACL and MCL in a 34-27 loss in Week 17 of the 2009 season. That game meant little to a New England team that had already clinched the East. Monday's contest is very significant if the Patriots hope to secure a first-round bye and possibly home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
Passing: Schaub - 266-413, 3062 yds, 21 tds
Rushing: Foster - 283 car, 1102 yds, 13 tds
Receiving: Johnson - 74 rec, 1114 yds, 3 tds
New England Leaders
Passing: Brady - 298-460, 3537 yds, 25 tds
Rushing: Ridley - 225 car, 1010 yds, 9 tds
Receiving: Welker - 92 rec, 1064 yds, 4 tds
My Score Predicition; Patriots upset Houston 29-23