FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots defense is always dealing with shadows. They’re in the shadow of their prolific offense and its canonized quarterback. They were overshadowed by J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans demolition crew of a defense entering Monday night’s matchup. Earlier in the season, it appeared the Patriots defense couldn’t cover their own shadow, especially if it ran a deep route.
What came to light Monday night in the Patriots’ 42-14 victory over the Texans in a game that was more beatdown than showdown for AFC supremacy is that the Patriots’ defensive improvement is not a figment of fertile imaginations, like thinking someone is behind you when it’s just your shadow. It’s real.