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Monday, December 2, 2013
Upon Further Review: Texans Week 13

By Tania Ganguli

A review of four hot issues from the Houston Texans' 34-31 loss to the New England Patriots:

Texans blitzing Brady: One of the difficulties for Texans quarterback Case Keenum as he learns to play in the NFL is dealing with blitzes. It's a mark of a young quarterback, and experience helps with that. Nothing better illustrated that than what Patriots quarterback Tom Brady did on Sunday. ESPN Stats & Info took a look at Brady against the Texans' blitzes. The Texans blitzed Brady on 21 percent of his dropbacks in the first half. He completed 2 of 7 passes and threw for 3.1 yards per attempt. In the second half the Texans ramped that up, blitzing Brady on 39 percent of his dropbacks. But by then he had figured it out. Brady completed 7 of 9 passes against blitzes in the second half and averaged 15.2 yards per attempt. His experience with figuring out defenses showed Sunday.

Houston's Andre Johnson
Andre Johnson became the second-fastest player in NFL history to reach 900 catches.
Johnson's place in history: Texans receiver Andre Johnson became the second-fastest player in NFL history to reach 900 catches. Only Marvin Harrison did it faster than Johnson's 150 games. And Harrison only beat him by one. Asked about it, Johnson gave answers that matched his personality. "I don't think it's really hit me yet," Johnson said. "To hear that, in my mind, Jerry Rice is the greatest receiver to ever play. So to do something faster than he's done is a tremendous honor."

Gronk'd: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski had tremendous success against the Texans' defense. He caught six passes for 127 yards -- 44 yards in the first half and 83 yards in the second half. Gronkowski got open frequently (though we should mention that Texans safety Eddie Pleasant had some nice hits on him) and even when he wasn't open, he helped the Patriots' offense. One example was during a 9-yard touchdown pass to Shane Vereen in the third quarter. The score put the Patriots up 21-17. Vereen was left open with Gronkowski surrounded by Texans in the end zone.

Kubiak on the sideline: After spending two games coaching from the press box, Texans coach Gary Kubiak finally got to return to the sideline. He was relegated to the press box on doctor's orders after suffering a transient ischemic attack on Nov. 3 at halftime of the Texans' game against the Indianapolis Colts. "I think we were operating as an offense better, and that gave us energy," Keenum said. "I think combined with him being on the field calming people down, and coaching us up as we needed it. ... Instead of relaying a message, he can tell me what he wants to tell me, when he wants to tell me. ... It felt like normal again." The offense did click better against the Patriots than it had in a while.