What We Learned: Texans vs Patriots
Arian Foster (Getty Images)
Arian Foster (Getty Images)
Posted Jan 4, 2010
Charlie Bernstein

The Texans finished their regular season on a high note as they defeated the New England Patriots, 34-27. Let's see how our keys to victory played out.

Three most important things for the Texans on defense:

1. Play well early. The Texans scored on their first possession and put the pressure on the Patriots to respond. Even more important than their quick start was their strong finish as they held the Pats to just one offensive touchdown in the second half.

2. Pressure Brady. Brady wasn't harassed all game long, but he was sacked twice and the Texans hit him six times.

3. No big plays down field. Houston allowed one big play to Randy Moss, but for the most part they kept everything in front of them.

Three most important things for the Texans on offense:

1. Maintain some balance. Arian Foster gave Houston the balance they were looking for as he gained 119 yards on 20 carries with a pair of touchdowns.

2. Get the ball to Andre. Johnson caught six passes for 65 yards, and was targeted nine times.

3. Protect Matt. The Texans line gave up just one sack, and Matt Schuab was hit just three times.

What to look for:

1. Look for Andre Johnson to go over 100 with a score. Johnson fell short on both marks, but he opened up the rest of the field for everyone else to make plays.

2. Look for the Texans running game to struggle. Houston ran the ball 27 times for 144 yards. Gary Kubiak will take that every week.

3. Look for Wes Welker to catch eight or more passes. Welker suffered what appeared to be a pretty serious knee injury on his first reception. We all hope he's okay.

4. Look for the Patriots to run the ball a lot. The Pats only ran the ball 19 times and were mostly ineffective.

5. Look for the Texans to win the game. Houston finished very strong scoring 21 fourth period points. Something to build on for next season.

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