Texans vs. Patriots: TV Schedule, Live Stream, Spread Info, Game Time and More

Josh Schoch@JoshSchochAnalyst IIIDecember 5, 2012

We couldn't ask for a better matchup on this week's edition of Monday Night Football.

The Houston Texans (11-1) travel to Gillette Stadium to take on the New England Patriots (9-3) in what should be an epic clash of the titans.

These are the top two teams in Matt Miller's most recent power rankings, and are both riding six-game winning streaks into this game.

The two best teams in football will meet on the biggest stage.

Getcha popcorn ready.


Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.

When: Monday, December 10 at 8:30 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN

Live Stream: NFL.com

Betting Line: New England -4 (Bovada)


Houston Injury Report (via Yahoo! Sports as of Dec. 4, 2012)

 J.J. Watt DE Probable Illness
 Ben Tate RB Probable Hamstring
 Brooks Reed LB Out Groin
 Derek Newton T Out Knee
 Johnathan Joseph CB Out Hamstring
 Andre Johnson WR Probable Groin
 Bradie James LB Out Hamstring
 Arian Foster RB Probable Not injury related
 Owen Daniels TE Probable Back
 Antoine Caldwell G Out Hamstring
 Alan Ball CB Questionable Foot
 Brice McCain CB Day-to-Day Foot


New England Injury Report (via Yahoo! Sports as of Dec. 4, 2012)

 Markus Zusevics T Questionable Illness
 Tracy White LB Questionable Foot
 Wes Welker WR Questionable Ankle
 Sebastian Vollmer T Questionable Back, knee
 Brandon Spikes LB Questionable Knee
 Matthew Slater WR Questionable Concussion
 Nick McDonald G Questionable Shoulder
 Kyle Love DT Questionable Knee
 Brandon Lloyd WR Questionable Knee
 Dont'a Hightower LB Questionable Hamstring
 Aaron Hernandez TE Questionable Ankle
 Julian Edelman WR Questionable Concussion
 Dan Connolly G Questionable Back
 Patrick Chung S Questionable Shoulder, hamstring
 Ron Brace DT Questionable Elbow


What's at Stake?

While I won't go so far as to say that the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs is on the line, it's certainly in play when these two teams meet.

Houston is up two game on the Patriots, who are in a three-way tie for the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye.

With a win, the Pats move one step closer to getting a bye week and overtaking the Texans, but this game is not the end-all be-all game.

New England still has to play the San Francisco 49ers and Houston still has the play the Minnesota Vikings and the Indianapolis Colts twice. However, winning this game is a big step toward getting that crucial bye.


Fantasy Plays

Houston WR Andre Johnson

Johnson has been getting it done in the last few weeks despite a poor performance against the Tennessee Titans last week.

Even when you include his 56-yard performance against the Titans last week, in the last three games he is averaging 9.3 receptions on 14.7 targets per game, and is going for 172.3 yards per game.

The Pats rank 27th in the league against fantasy wide receivers, and you can bet that Johnson is going to have a big day on Monday night.

Projected Stats: 12 receptions, 140 yards, 1 TD


New England WR Wes Welker

Houston's defense is tough, but its one weakness comes in the passing game. The team ranks 19th in the league against the pass, and 23rd against fantasy receivers.

Welker is Tom Brady's top target, and with Rob Gronkowski out, he should rack up the receptions.

In the team's last game he was targeted 18 times and caught 12 passes. He has also found the end zone in each of the last two games, and should find it one more time on Monday.

Look for Welker to be one of the top receivers this week.

Projected Stats: 15 receptions, 176 yards, 1 TD


What They're Saying

The first thing we learned from Twitter is from ESPN's Mike Reiss, who tells us just how good Houston's defense is.

Weekly "stat check" highlights red-zone as Patriots prep for Texans, who have allowed fewest red-zone trips/TDs in '12. es.pn/11Nyq93

— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) December 4, 2012


The Texans are looking to get into the playoffs sooner rather than later, and the team highlighted its ways to get in on its official Twitter feed.

Here are the latest playoff scenarios for the #Texans heading into Week 14 at Patriots on @espnmondaynight. #Playoffs twitter.com/HoustonTexans/…

— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) December 4, 2012


Key Matchup: New England's high-powered offense vs. Houston's stingy defense

The biggest reason why this game is going to be one of the best in Week 14 is the matchup between the Pats offense and the Texans defense.

Brady and New England's offense have been on fire this season, ranking in the Top 10 in the league in passing as always, but also doing so in terms of running the ball, which is not usually a factor with the Patriots.

Houston's defense, on the other hand, is led by MVP candidate J.J. Watt and ranks second against the run and third in sacks.

This matchup features two MVP candidates squaring off and will be the decisive factor in the game.



This is going to be a tight game throughout, but I have to pick the Pats at home. The team's only home loss this season came in Week 2, and since then New England has won its four home games by an average of 11.0 points per game.

Look for the crowd in Foxborough to lift New England to a close win.

Predicted Score: Patriots 24, Texans 23


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