Just a few words to cap off Monday’s game. Aside from the excuses that the Pats won refball, and that they were handed a win within the first ten minutes, the thought of anybody else but the Texans losing this game is absurd. Yes, there were a few questionable calls, but we literally could not catch a break. From Schaub’s interception in the endzone, to the defense’s only two forced fumbles bouncing in the Patriots’ favor, the Texans did not get anything going their way.
The first play in focus was one being the forced fumble on Stevan Ridley, where Kareem Jackson simply could not manage to corral it, swatting it about like a slippery bar of soap into the arms of Aaron Hernandez, leading to the first score of the game; the first of many scores for the Patriots. The other that really kicked the Texans while they were down was the J.J. Watt forced fumble on Danny Woodhead, that bounced into the endzone and into the clutches of Brandon Lloyd for another Patriots touchdown. The metaphor is cruel irony. No matter how hard the Texans played, the luck favored the Patriots and they were ultimately the victors.
The rest was a failure on the team’s behalf, from the back breaking penalties, to just not being able to get the forth down, the Texans just flat out did not play their brand of football and could not get their engine going.
Vince Wilfork could not be stopped from disrupting passes, stopping runs, and putting pressure on Matt Schaub. The Texans futile attempts at running the ball were stopped, making the entire offense sputter; opening the door for others to capitalize on the Texans’ lack of production. From receivers like Lestar Jean dropping easy basket catches in his arms, to the running backs running right into the crowd of defenders and getting stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage, the offense cost the Texans’ downs and they always ended up punting after failing on third and long conversions. A dirty, flat out whipping was suffered by the Texans at the hands of the Patriots, who are clearly the better team despite their record. A good thing to take away from this is that it is only one loss, and that it also shows them where they need to improve should the Texans face the Patriots in this upcoming postseason.
Entertaining the idea of refball being a factor, the Texans were shafted by a questionable pass interference call on Danieal Manning, a call that lead to a first down and eventually a touchdown. This was after the Texans had made the Patriots go three and out. An early score that really changed the flow of the game. The change of momtum that ultimately lead to six, and eventually seven points for the Patriots, that could have had their drive finish in a variety of ways, completely altering the course of the game.
But as always, “what if’s” are always the nagging part of history, and never ever really seem feasible.
How the team will react will be seen throughout the week, certainly this is a humbling and debilitating loss for the team, but the Indianapolis Colts and the Minnesota Vikings are coming to town, followed by a final road game to Indianapolis. There is ample time for the team to recover and regain their confidence heading into the postseason.
- Richard Perez