- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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Links from the Texans' perspective leading into Sunday's playoff game against the Patriots:
1. Defending Gronkowski and Hernandez. Veteran reporter John McClain of the Houston Chronicle details how the Texans might plan to defend Patriots tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Gronkowski's former Arizona teammate, Brooks Reed, figures to be part of the plan.
2. Patriots and multiple TEs. Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle, who is in Foxborough writing from the Patriots' perspective this week, talks with Aaron Hernandez and Donte' Stallworth about what makes the Patriots' multiple-tight end offense go. "Playing together actually makes us more complete,” Hernandez tells Ganguli.
3. Checking in with injured Texans. The Houston Chronicle provides an update on top special teams player Alan Ball, while catching up with two players (tight end Garrett Graham and right tackle Derek Newton) who didn't face the Patriots on Dec. 10 but should be in the lineup Sunday.
4. Billick dissects matchup. In a video on Foxsports.com, former NFL head coach Brian Billick provides his analysis and says if the Texans pull the upset, offensive balance will be key. Billick expects the Patriots to be an "all-time emotional and physical high."
5. What are the Texans saying. The Houston Texans' website relays comments from Texans' players after Wednesday's practice, as wide receiver Andre Johnson summed up the state of the team this way: " I don’t sense any tightness or anything like that. We know what’s at stake."
6. Left tackle Duane Brown checks in. Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com catches up with left tackle Duane Brown, arguably the top player in the AFC at the position, and the theme is that the team got away from playing "Texans football" on Dec. 10. Brown says the Texans have their confidence again.