FOXBOROUGH – A few thoughts as the Patriots lead 17-13 at halftime:
1. Big drive coming up for the Patriots to start the second half. Texans ran off the field feeling really good about themselves. A quick three-and-out would only enchance that.
2. Big third quarter in general. Still don’t have a great deal of confidence in the Patriots have a good killer instinct in the fourth quarter. Second or third quarter? Yes. Not so much in the fourth.
3. For that reason, I look for the Patriots to go turbo no huddle in the third quarter. Take it to the Texans.
4. Patriots’ special teams, for the most part, were a disaster in the first half. Scotty O’Brien will be laying into his troops.
5. Not sure what the Patriots were thinking on the final possession of the first half. Why not continue to press the issue? Is there an injury, perhaps to Tom Brady, that we don’t know about?
6. Doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing Rob Gronkowski (arm) for the rest of the game, and perhaps the playoffs.
7. What I feared – limited Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez – has kind of come to fruition. It’s basically Wes Welker (a golden god-like six catches for 120 yards in the first half) and the running backs running this offense. I think that’s enough for this game, but is it going forward?
8. Not having Danny Woodhead (thumb) is huge, but Shane Vereen is doing a nice job in his place. The young buck will have to be on point in pass protection in the second half.