The New England defense isn't the best around, but it has its strengths. One of those is defending against the run.
In the Pats' 42-14 win over the Texans in Week 14, they held Houston to just 100 rushing yards. Arian Foster was limited to 15 carries and averaged just 3.06 yards per attempt.
In Houston's win over Cincinnati last Saturday, Foster put up 140 yards on 32 carries.
For New England's defense to keep Houston in check, it has to disrupt the balance that makes the Texans so good. That means focusing on what they do well (stopping the run) over what they do poorly (defending the pass).
For the Pats, the run defense starts with big defensive lineman Vince Wilfork.
Wilfork is one of the best interior linemen in the league, using his big size and explosiveness to disrupt plays at the line. He started 2012 slowly but has become more effective down the stretch.
If the Patriots are to repeat their success at slowing down Foster, it will be up to Wilfork to disrupt the running lanes any way he can.