Here’s our weekly look at the key plays in the Patriots’ game after reviewing the film.
Crowding the box
The Texans played an extra defender in the box for most of the game to slow down the Patriots’ run game.
And the Patriots often did the same.
Dominant up front
A common sight for the Patriots: Whitney Mercilus and Jadeveon Clowney rushing the passer from the inside.
And all too common for the Patriots, Mercilus blew past David Andrews to force Tom Brady out of the pocket.
Even on Dion Lewis’s 13-yard touchdown, Clowney beat Solder to the inside and forced Brady to get rid of the ball in a hurry.
How did Lewis’s kickoff touchdown work?
It was a total team blocking effort from the Patriots.
And it started with these two blocks.
Lewis picked up four more blocks.
And as he picked up one last block, he showed great cut-back vision.
Not only did James White beat Bernardrick McKinney with a stutter-step on his touchdown, but tight end Martellus Bennett occupied safety Corey Moore on a deep post, preventing Moore from covering White over the top.
How did C.J. Fiedorowicz’s touchdown happen?
The Texans ran a fake end-around, and safety Duron Harmon bit badly.
By the time Harmon recognized the play, it was too late.
Devin McCourty’s instincts
DeAndre Hopkins was open coming out of his break toward the sideline.
But McCourty started breaking toward the ball before it had even left Brock Osweiler’s hands, and he came up with a big interception.
|Texans (69)||Season total (1,190)||Percentage|
|C David Andrews||69||1,186||99.66%|
|OT Nate Solder||69||1,101||92.52%|
|T Marcus Cannon||69||1,103||92.69%|
|G Shaq Mason||69||1,089||91.51%|
|QB Tom Brady||69||888||74.62%|
|G Joe Thuney||68||1,185||99.58%|
|TE Martellus Bennett||64||934||78.49%|
|WR Julian Edelman||58||935||78.57%|
|WR Michael Floyd||44||111||9.33%|
|WR Chris Hogan||34||866||72.77%|
|RB Dion Lewis||33||196||16.47%|
|FB James Develin||33||384||32.27%|
|RB LeGarrette Blount||27||556||46.72%|
|WR Danny Amendola||21||288||24.20%|
|TE Matt Lengel||14||95||7.98%|
|RB James White||12||439||36.89%|
|T Cameron Fleming||2||284||23.87%|
|G Ted Karras||1||110||9.24%|
|QB Jimmy Garoppolo||0||143||12.02%|
|WR Matt Slater||0||53||4.45%|
|WR Malcolm Mitchell||0||539||45.29%|
|TE Rob Gronkowski||0||354||29.75%|
|QB Jacoby Brissett||0||158||13.28%|
|TE AJ Derby||0||35||2.94%|
|TE Clay Harbor||0||25||2.10%|
|RB DJ Foster||0||16||1.34%|
|RB Brandon Bolden||0||13||1.09%|
|Texans (69)||Season total (1,112)||Percentage|
|CB Logan Ryan||69||966||86.87%|
|S Devin McCourty||69||1,090||98.02%|
|CB Malcolm Butler||69||1,076||96.76%|
|LB Donta Hightower||69||777||69.87%|
|S Patrick Chung||62||1,067||95.95%|
|DE Trey Flowers||59||622||55.94%|
|DT Alan Branch||49||674||60.61%|
|S Duron Harmon||48||565||50.81%|
|CB Eric Rowe||39||491||44.15%|
|DT Malcom Brown||38||634||57.01%|
|DE Rob Ninkovich||38||499||44.87%|
|LB Elandon Roberts||36||306||27.52%|
|LB Kyle Van Noy||32||282||25.36%|
|DE Jabaal Sheard||31||611||54.95%|
|DE Chris Long||27||704||63.31%|
|DT Vincent Valentine||16||305||27.43%|
|LB Shea McClellin||7||389||34.98%|
|DE Geneo Grissom||1||13||1.17%|
|LB Barkevious Mingo||0||47||4.23%|
|CB Justin Coleman||0||226||20.32%|
|LB Jamie Collins||0||438||39.39%|
|CB Cyrus Jones||0||147||13.22%|
|LB Jon Freeny||0||98||8.81%|
|DT Anthony Johnson||0||74||6.65%|
|CB Jonathan Jones||0||64||5.76%|
|DT Woodrow Hamilton||0||42||3.78%|
|S Jordan Richards||0||18||1.62%|
|S Nate Ebner||0||18||1.62%|