Patriots-Texans Comes Down To Who Plays Cleanest Football

Brandon Scott
November 25, 2019 - 2:59 pm
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws the ball during the second half against the Dallas Cowboys at Gillette Stadium.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

If the Texans are going to beat the Patriots and maintain their lead in the AFC South standings, there won’t be much room for error Sunday night. 

You can say that about every game, but it’s especially true of the Patriots. 

Texans head coach Bill O’Brien knows this as well as anyone. O’Brien coached in New England for five seasons -- as an offensive assistant, wide receivers and quarterbacks coach, then offensive coordinator. 

It’s been eight years since he worked under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. The pair put together three Super Bowl runs in that time, adding to their collection of six. 

With Sunday night’s win over the Cowboys, New England won at least 10 games for the 17th straight season. 

The Patriots, year-to-year, play well together and play to their strengths, whatever those strengths are at the time. 

This season, it’s relying on a strong defense, tough running game and a quarterback in Tom Brady who is smarter than any other in football. 

The Patriots defense has allowed the fewest amount of points this season and gives up the second-fewest yards per game.

“They don’t make a lot of mistakes. They don’t beat themselves,” O’Brien said Monday. “You just have to make sure you’re playing at you’re strengths and you’re doing a good job of playing disciplined football. I think that’s a big part of it, who can play the cleanest football.”

The Patriots (10-1) are tied with the 49ers for the best record in the NFL and lead the AFC standings. They're coming off a 13-9 win over the Cowboys, while the Texans just beat the Colts 20-17 last Thursday.

Houston (7-4) holds a one-game lead in the AFC South. A loss to New England would drop the Texans into a tie with either the Colts or Titans, who play each other Sunday. Both teams are 6-5.