3 Reasons Houston Texans Offensive Threats Will Expose Patriots Defensive Holes

Dan Wilkins@@DanWilkinsNFLCorrespondent IIDecember 6, 2012

3 Reasons Houston Texans Offensive Threats Will Expose Patriots Defensive Holes

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    A surprise to many, it has been Matt Schaub and the Houston Texans offense that has carried the team to victory in recent weeks. In Week 14, the Texans will travel to Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football.

    Many will forecast Monday's game as the Texans' second loss of the season. However, considering the matchups, the Texans offense has the ability to continue their success and equal the Patriots' scoring all game long.

    With so much attention always going to the defensive side of the ball in Houston, this game could be very different. Here are three reasons the Texans offense will expose the Patriots' defensive holes.

3. Patriots Could Be Without Chandler Jones

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    Chandler Jones, the Patriots' 2012 first-round draft pick, has been the team's best pass-rusher thus far. However, he has missed the past two games, and may miss Monday's game as well.

    If he does, the Patriots will have an even tougher time rushing the passer, as the Texans are tied for the league low in sacks allowed with 15. When you have a struggling secondary, which the Patriots do, you have to find a way to get to the passer. 

    If the Patriots can't do that, it could mean for a big game for Matt Schaub.

    When given time to throw, and especially as of late, Schaub has been an extremely productive downfield passer for the Texans.

2. A Dominant Andre Johnson

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    Some receivers are downright unstoppable at times. Right now, Andre Johnson has been just that for this Texans offense.

    After getting off to a slow start this season, Johnson has recaptured the form that we had previously known him for. In his last three games, he has caught 27 passes for 517 yards. He may not have the TD numbers that fantasy players are looking for, but he is helping the offense to move the ball in big ways.

    Yes, the Patriots have added Aqib Talib in the secondary. He is sure to be a key player down the stretch. However, while Talib continues to get acclimated to this defense, expect Johnson's dominance to continue in this game.

1. Texans Running Game

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    With just 3.9 yards per carry, Arian Foster may be experiencing some struggles, but that hasn't deterred the Texans from running the football.

    This could be the game in which that very dedication is rewarded. 

    The Patriots have the league's ninth ranked run defense overall, but have struggled in that department in recent weeks. The Buffalo Bills, for one, exposed just how much yardage can be put up against this unit on the ground.

    In addition, the Texans' recent success through the air should open up the ground game even more, putting Foster in line for a big game. If that proves to be the case, and the Texans can control the clock, they could be well on their way to their 12th win of the season.