The Texans defense faces a huge challenge this Sunday in Tom Brady.
The future Pro Football Hall of Famer is coming off a win at New Orleans in which he diced the Saints for 447 yards and three touchdowns, on 30-of-39 attempts. The Texans have been on the receiving end of a few Brady masterpieces over the years, and know what the five-time Super Bowl champion can do.
"It's always difficult," cornerback Johnathan Joseph said. "Any time he has weapons on the offensive side, multiple formations he's going to show you, obviously he's as good as they come in this league and one of the all-time greats, if not the greatest."
One advantage the Texans have over the last time they saw New England in a game that counts, comes in the form of J.J. Watt. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year was injured and unable to play in the playoff loss last January. But he's back now, feeling good, and ready to face Brady and the Patriots. Getting to Brady, though, has always been a tricky task.
"I think he does a good job of getting the ball out of his hands," Watt said. "They've been working together for a long time in that offensive scheme, so he knows who's going to be open, when they're going to be open, where they're going to be open."
Whitney Mercilus, who sacked Brady in that playoff loss, and him two other times, explained what sets Brady apart.
"He's very smart about the game, understands what schemes that other teams are trying to do against him," Mercilus said. "He's done a great job of that. Obviously he's been playing for so long and that's why they call him the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time), no doubt."
The Texans practice again on Thursday and Friday. They'll leave for New England on Saturday. Kickoff is Sunday at noon in Gillette Stadium.
Check out some of the best practice shots as the Texans prepare for Sunday's game against the Patriots.