Keys to a Texans victory over the Patriots Sunday

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates with teammates after conceding on a pass with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) for a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

HOUSTON – We have reached Week 13 of the NFL regular season and the fun really begins for the Texans. Sunday night is where it’s all going down at NRG stadium as Houston goes for an 8-4 record. The Texans will welcome in the New England Patriots who are once again are dominating in 2019. Bill Belichick and the Pats are cruising once again at 10-1 attempting to snag an 11th win. If they can get that done it will mark ten straight years of 11 wins and would put New England in the driver’s seat for top seed in the AFC playoffs.

Translated, that means home games in Foxborough where they thrive in the elements every postseason.

But first things first and that is Sunday Night Football on KPRC 2.

Keys to a Texans Victory

Deshaun Watson remains patient in the pocket.

This is always the case and now more than ever DW4 needs to have time to throw the ball to his targets. That starts with the offensive line up front doing its job. Keeping Watson upright is critical with the pass rush he will see. The WR corp is good with Hopkins, Fuller, Stills and Fells. It would be nice to see Watson throw a couple of TD’s and perhaps run for another? Can it happen against this Patriots defense? Watson has been sacked 32 times already this season. We will find out.

Make Tom Brady uncomfortable

This is easy to write but difficult to accomplish but the Texans defense needs to give it a shot. Brady, at the age of 42, is still NFL greatness although his numbers are down a little this season. Part of that could be age but he’s also dealt with a slew of injuries to his offensive guys and that has forced him to throw it more than he normally would. New England’s running game has taken a step back this season but has shown signs of improvement for the most part in the past four weeks. The Texans defense needs to create constant pressure and force Brady to make quick throws and hit him often. This season Brady has taken more hits than any time in his career. That needs to continue Sunday night.

Who wins the Hopkins vs Gilmore battle?

Whether you’re in the house Sunday at NRG or watching on TV, watch this battle because we are in for a treat. Deandre Hopkins is the best in the league with his hands and routes and he’ll be challenged by Stephon Gilmore all night. He wants to make Hop a non-factor which is hard to do. Hopkins embraces the head-to-head matchups and this is must-see Sunday night.

Texans run defense

The Texans are prone to giving up huge chunks of yards on the ground. We’ve seen it often and recently against the Ravens and Colts. They allow over 100 yards a game so you know Belichick’s scheme will be to establish the run game early to open things up for Tom Brady. Houston’s secondary has struggled so this could be a productive night on the ground and through the air.

O’Brien vs Belichick

Every week comes down to the two head coaches getting the job done in all phases. O’Brien needs to call an aggressive game and take some chances. The run game for Houston needs to produce and then let Watson throw it downfield. Belichick is the master of game planning. Nothing falls through the cracks. It won’t take a perfect game by the Texans to get the win but pretty darn close. Clock management, use of time outs and not panicking is key for O’Brien. Belichick won’t make many mistakes.

Enjoy the game! Let’s hope it’s a Texans win and an 8-4 record going into next week at home against the Denver Broncos. KPRC’s pre-game coverage begins at 5 pm Sunday!