AFC Showdown Becomes a Massacre by the Patriots

Tom Brady targets Wes Welker.

Tom Brady throws a dart of a pass to Wes Welker.

12-10/12: Patriots vs Texans - Final Score (42-14 Patriots)

Last night, on the national stage of Monday Night Football, what was supposed to be a showdown of the two best teams in the AFC ended up being a blowout.  The Houston Texans and the New England Patriots are the two highest scoring teams in the NFL, but you wouldn’t know that the Texans were by the final score of 42-14 Patriots.

Tom Brady threw for four touchdowns and 296 yards as New England manhandled the team with the league’s best record.  The Patriots (10-3), who already own the AFC East title, won their seventh straight game and moved one game behind the Texans (11-2) for the conference’s top seed.

Right from the start, you could tell which way this game was going.  It took take New England only one possession to start its scoring barrage as the Patriots surpassed their average of 35.8 points per game.  They score 28 points before the Texans scored any.

Wes Welker’s 31-yard punt return and 25-yard reception – the 107th straight game he’s had a catch – led to Aaron Hernandez’s 7-yard score.  That gave Brady 45 consecutive games with a TD pass, third longest in NFL history..  Two more games with a TD pass and he’ll be tied with Johnny Unitas for second..  Then seven more games and he’ll be tied with Drew Brees for first.. and with Brees’ streak no longer active, Brady has the chance to be the all-time leader.

Houston, which had won six straight games, threatened on its next series, only to have Matt Schaub force a ball into double coverage in the Patriots’ end zone.  Devin McCourty came up with a huge interception and returned it 19 yards, setting up more pinpoint throws by Brady, who finished 21 of 35.

He couldn’t miss if he tried, his receivers were so uncovered: Brandon Lloyd for 14 yards, Danny Woodhead for 18, Hernandez for 13, then Lloyd for the 37-yard TD to make it 14-0.  Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips could only shake his head in disgust at his players’ inability to challenge the Patriots.

It wasn’t over yet..  At the end of a 70-yard drive helped by a 26-yard interference call on Danieal Manning, no Texans were lined up to Brady’s left in front of Hernandez.  A quick snap before they were ready, a quicker pass and the tight end waltzed into the end zone.

New England was headed for its 20th successive home win in December (a new all-time NFL record), and its 21st straight victory in the second half of the schedule.

By then the Patriots had their fourth TD, a gorgeous 63-yard throw to Donte’ Stallworth, who was re-signed last week to replace injured Julian Edelman.  It gave Brady his 18th game with at least four TD passes, moving ahead of Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas for fourth all time.

Brady nearly had a fifth as Woodhead broke free on a screen pass early in the fourth period.  Texans standout defensive end J.J. Watt, who was pretty much invisible otherwise, forced a fumble, but the ball soared 11 yards into the end zone, where Lloyd fell on it for a 35-7 lead.

Stevan Ridley made it 42-7 with a 14-yard run.  Everyone on the Patriots stepped up big.. and not just the offense.  It was great to see Tom Brady totally in the zone, but even better to see the guys around perform well.  Wes Welker was solid with a sick diving catch early in the game.  Danny Woodhead also made some nice plays.  Stevan Ridley kept up his great running.  Donte’ Stallworth had that huge TD catch.  Brandon Lloyd had some key catches and first downs, as well as that bomb of a reception for a touchdown early in the game.  It was really great to see Brady and Lloyd finally connecting like they were meant to.  It was also amazing to see Stallworth make such a big play look easy after having been cut from the team at the end of the preseason.  Like I said though, it was just the offense that was big.. the defense played possibly their best game this year.  Devin McCourty had that huge interception after a long Texans drive that made it to the red zone.  Vince Wilfork continued his impressive year keeping the pressure on Matt Schaub.  The defense as a whole played really well.  They even kept star running back Arian Foster, who has been averaging almost 100 yards per game, to only 46 yards on 15 runs!

The Texans have allowed 42 points in both of their losses, the other coming against Green Bay on October 14.  Although the Texans have clinched at least a wild-card berth, they haven’t had a truly convincing win since October.  They are not as much of a threat as everyone has been saying, at least not to the Patriots, and this game proved it.

Before this game, I thought, like most, that Houston and Denver were the only real threats to the Patriots in the AFC.. although I thought Houston was more of a threat.  After this game, I feel that the Patriots pretty much own the AFC.. and with a crushing win over “the best team in the NFL,” I predict that the Patriots will be in the Super Bowl.

There were too many great photos from this game to fit them into the article, and too many to put all here, but here are some of the best ones:

J.J. Watt fails to stop Tom Brady

J.J. Watt tries to do his thing against Tom Brady and fails.

Wes Welker vs. Houston Texans

Wes Welker goes beast mode while Texans defenders hang on to him and try to take him down.

Wes Welker fights for yards after the catch.

Wes Welker fights for yards after the catch.

Tom Brady celebrates his 37-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Lloyd

Tom Brady celebrates his 37-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Lloyd.

Donte' Stallworth fights for a 63 yard touchdown

Donte’ Stallworth fights for a 63 yard touchdown.

Rob Ninkovich sacks Matt Schaub

Rob Ninkovich sacks Matt Schaub.

Vince Wilfork pressures Matt Schaub

Vince Wilfork pressures Matt Schaub.

Vince Wilfork vs. Houston Texans

The only way to hold back Vince Wilfork in beast mode.. illegally.

Arian Foster frustrated.. Patriots kept him to only 46 yards on 15 runs!

Arian Foster gets frustrated as the Patriots kept him to only 46 yards on 15 runs!

Patriots coach Bill Belichick chats with Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick chats with Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
I always like seeing Boston sports coaches talking to each other and exchanging their winning mentalities.

Sources/Further Reading:
* Boston.com article
* CBS Sports article
* NFL.com Recap and Box Score

Thanks for reading,
Matt

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About bost0nfire

Here in Boston, our pro sports teams won seven championships in a decade, with all teams accounted for. That means the Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox, and yes the New England Patriots.. they did play in Boston at one time after all.. and they're still our team. So, I declare Boston to be the City of Champions. ... Check us out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/b0stonwins?ref=hl ... Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BostonWins_Blog ... **** READER DISCRETION ADVISED: Adult Language may be used.
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One Response to AFC Showdown Becomes a Massacre by the Patriots

  1. Thank you for visiting my blog! I checked yours out and you are a great sports writer. I will make sure to inform others about your blog and post them on my Facebook page 🙂

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