FOXBOROUGH – The Texans might be the NFL’s most disappointing team in 2013, losers of nine straight games. But the Patriots have lost three straight – three straight road games, a streak they’ll try to stop on Sunday at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
Of the five road games for the Patriots this season, none have been easy. They opened with a 23-21 win at Buffalo, and needed to survive a last-minute comeback attempt by the Falcons to win at Atlanta, 30-23, in Week 4. Three road losses have followed: at Cincinnati (13-6), at the Jets (30-27 in overtime), and at Carolina (24-20).
“We haven’t won on the road here the last three outings, so we need to find a way to play better away from home, whatever that consists of. Better coaching, start with that, and obviously better playing,” coach Bill Belichick said before practice on Wednesday.
Because of the rain and wind, the Patriots moved Wednesday’s practice inside, to the Dana-Farber Field House. Reliant Stadium has a retractable roof, so conditions for Sunday’s game will be ideal. The game, originally scheduled for a 4:25 p.m. start, has been moved up to 1 p.m.
Three players were not spotted during the open portion of practice: offensive lineman Marcus Cannon (ankle), tight end Michael Hoomanawanui (knee), and wide receiver Aaron Dobson (unknown).
The Patriots would have entered Sunday’s game on a two-game losing streak if not for the comeback win over the Broncos, who led 24-0 at halftime. Patriots players said after the game that they worked specifically in practice last week on coming out fast in the second half, which had been a problem area.
They outscored the Broncos in the third quarter, 21-0.
“We can’t simulate it, but we get part of the way through practice, stop, then finish the practice, kind of simulate as much as we can that situation,” Belichick said.