The Monday Night Football game on ESPN tonight was one of the most anticipated games in years featuring two of the best teams in the NFL. It was the Texans top 3 ranked defense going against the number one offense in the NFL. Tom Brady proved why his well oiled offensive machine is ranked number one and the Texans proved without Watt making plays their defense is vulnerable to the passing game.
The Patriots had this game from the moment it was kicked off till the moment triple zero hit the clock. Tom Brady got it started with a touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez and then the defense stepped up with a huge interception by safety Devin McCourty in the end zone, and that lead to Tom Brady going deep for 37 yards to Brandon Lloyd for a touchdown. Wilfork stepped up on a third down play and hit the ball out of Schaub’s hand for a fumble but the Texans recovered it, but that lead to another Patriots score from Brady to a wide open Hernandez for the walk in score to go up 21-0. The Patriots scored a touchdown on their first three drives in the first half and took the lead to halftime. The Patriots held on two different fourth down tries by the Texans which was huge plays in the game to keep the Texans from making it anywhere close to a game. The Patriots finally scored again in the third quarter on a 63 yard pass play from Brady to newly signed Stallworth to make it 28-0 and the route was on. Foster would score a touchdown before the third quarter ended to make it 28-7. Tom Brady after that on a third down play ran for the first down and got up very excited, and celebrated making the crowd even more excited seeing that. In those moments you see how much the Patriots and Tom Brady wanted this game. To start the fourth quarter Brady hit Woodhead on a screen pass with Watt causing a fumble, but it went right into the end zone where Lloyd was, and he covered it up for the touchdown, and up goes New England 35-7. New England then put an exclamation point on the game with running it up the field, killing the clock, and Ridley punched it in from 14 yards out to make it 42-7. The Texans would score again running it in with backup QB T.J. Yates to finish the game 42-14.
Brady finished the game with 296 passing yards and four touchdowns. Aaron Hernandez caught eight passes for 58 yards and two touchdown catches. Brandon Lloyd had one of his best games all season hauling in seven passes for 89 yards and receiving a touchdown along with a fumble recovery for a touchdown.
The Patriots defense showed up big tonight with Wilfork leading the way as usual, he controlled the running game and the passing game with an amazing play against Foster by blowing up the line, and getting him in the back field while Wilfork slipped himself. Another great play by Wilfork was getting in on Schaub when Ninkovich forced Schaub into Wilfork who swatted the ball right from Schaub’s hand about ten or more yards back on a third down play that lead to another Texans punt. Hightower and Mayo wrecked havoc with QB pressure and QB hits all game long and was huge in keeping Schaub off his game. Ninkovich and Scott both got in on a sack, and provided pressure all game.
“I’m amazed that the Patriots have played man to man against Andre Johnson all game long and stopped him” – John Gruden. My exact thoughts, I would have never thought Talib and especially Dennard could handle Johnson man to man, but they did. Talib in the first half was excellent versus Johnson and then Talib hurt his hip, and in the second half Dennard went head to head with Johnson and shut him down too. Incredible game by both corners along with Kyle Arrington who had a heck of a game and seems to be a good corner in the slot. McCourty is continuing a pro bowl type season at safety. The Patriots pass defense didn’t allow a touchdown thrown by Matt Schaub and the New England rush defense only allowed 46 yards rushing by Arian Foster on 15 carries.