Every week, in every NFL game, each team shares a multitude of connections. Players that played for the opposing team. Players on opposing teams who played on the same college team together. Coaches who coached opposing players in college or NFL.
The links are endless, but often very interesting.
The Texans and Patriots square off Sunday, and it'll be the third time in less than 365 days the two squads have played each other. The first two meetings were in December of last year on a Monday night, and then last January in the playoffs. Both ended in ugly fashion for Houston. But both franchises have some interesting connections. Below are just a few.
A pair of Texans were once in the Patriots' organization in nose tackle Terrell McClain and inside
linebacker Jeff Tarpinian.
The only Patriot who was once a Texan is rookie defensive tackle Chris Jones. He was a sixth-round draft pick last April, but was picked up by New England after being cut near the end of training camp.
In college at Arizona, linebacker Brooks Reed and nose tackle Earl Mitchell were teammates with New England tight end Rob Gronkowski. Those three were together from 2007 to 2009 in Tuscon. Mitchell and Gronkowski entered the NFL in 2010, while Reed became a pro a year later.
Patriot wide receiver Danny Amendola was a star at the Woodlands High School and then Texas Tech. As a Red Raider in 2007 he finished with more than 1,000 yards receiving. He bounced from the Cowboys and Eagles practice squads before establishing himself in 2009 with the Saint Louis Rams. Amendola signed with the Patriots last spring and has 358 yards receiving in seven games.