Texans vs. Patriots: Houston Must Fix Broken Offense to Avoid Elimination

David Daniels@TheRealDDanielsSenior Writer IJanuary 6, 2013

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 05:  Matt Schaub #8 of the Houston Texans pulls down on his helmet against the Cincinnati Bengals during their AFC Wild Card Playoff Game at Reliant Stadium on January 5, 2013 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Houston Texans defense can’t shut down the New England Patriots offense.

J.J. Watt and Co. are elite. They proved that to the world on Saturday evening by imposing their will on the Cincinnati Bengals. But if the Texans are banking on holding Tom Brady’s crew to 13 points like they did Andy Dalton’s, they’re screwed.

In order for Houston to advance to the AFC championship, it must put together a complete team effort—Watt won’t be able to drag Matt Schaub across the finish line.

An offensive attack featuring all-world talents Arian Foster and Andre Johnson shouldn’t struggle to produce points, but that’s exactly what it’s done.

In each of their last three games and four out of the last five—including their Week 14 showdown with the Pats—the Texans failed to score at least 20 points. If they fall short of the mark again, they’ll be watching the conference title game with their fans.

New England, once again, boasts the highest-scoring offense in the NFL. It averages 34.8 points per game and has been held under 20 points just once the entire season—all the way back in Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals.

When the Patriots played the Texans almost one month ago, they dropped 42 points. While Brady finished with four touchdown passes, Schaub didn’t throw one.

Houston’s quarterback will influence the game’s outcome more than any other player. Schaub is a talented passer, as he’s thrown for over 4,000 yards the last three seasons in which he’s been healthy. But he’s been extremely streaky this year, with nine of his 22 touchdowns (41 percent) coming in just two games.

Schaub is more than capable of leading the Texans to victory in Foxborough—but not if he plays like he has been much of the final three quarters of the regular season.

The 31-year-old quarterback started the first playoff game of his career against Cincinnati, but if Schaub doesn’t play like the wise veteran he is, Houston will have no shot to keep up with the blazing Patriots.


David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.