You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Red Sox Live

7

7

▲  6th Inning 2 outs

Bill Belichick sees 3rd-down battle looming vs. Texans

FOXBOROUGH ­­— Patriots coach Bill Belichick was effusive in his praise of the Houston Texans during his press conference Wednesday at Gillette Stadium, describing the AFC South team as one that seemed to excel in all phases of the game.

But when it came to third-down defense? Well, that’s where Belichick was particularly impressed by Houston’s defense, coordinated by Wade Phillips, the former head coach of the Boncos (1993-94), Bills (1998-2000) and Cowboys (2007-10).

Continue reading below

Belichick seemed to sense a looming battle between the Patriots, who own the league’s best third-down conversion rate (52.6 percent), and the Texans, the NFL’s stingiest third-down defense and the AFC’s best team at 11-1.

Through their first 12 games, the Texans have held opponents to a 28.2 percent conversion rate on third downs.

“I think they’re a good defense on every down,” Belichick said. “But on third down, they rush well and they cover well. [Kareem] Jackson and [Jonathan] Joseph have done a good job all year for them [at the cornerback spots] but they’ve had other guys come in there and do a good job for them.

“Of course, they can rush and create a lot of long yardage situations, so that’s helped their pass rush,” Belichick said. “They’re a good third-down defense, one of the best in the last 9-10 years statistically at under 30 percent, which is pretty impressive.

“They do everything well. They rush, they cover, they blitz, they mix it up.”

Michael Vega can be reached at vega@globe.com.
Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.