The Texans defense will face its biggest challenge this year, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.
Through his 12 games in 2016, Brady threw 28 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. His touchdown/interception ratio was the best ever by a quarterback in a single season and Brady finished with a quarterback rating of 112.2, the highest in the AFC and second in the NFL.
"He's seen it all," head coach Bill O'Brien said Wednesday. "It's really just a matter of really fundamental football. The thing about the Patriots is that they're a very fundamentally sound team. You're going to have to go in there and beat them – they're not going to beat themselves. They're not going to jump offsides, they're going to take care of the ball, they don't beat themselves. So I think that's more the key than it is all the exotics that you can draw up to try to do this or do that. You have to go in there and you have to play good, smart, tough, disciplined football, and you have to play every play."
The Texans defense will do their best to make Brady uncomfortable, like the other quarterbacks they've faced this year. Houston's No. 1 ranked defense finished the 2016 season allowing the fewest yards (301.3) and first downs (17) per game.
For Brady, it will be his biggest challenge this season too.
"They can get after the quarterback, so they stop the run, play on their terms, get after the quarterback," Brady said. "They've got a lot of good scheme stuff that Romeo [Crennel] does that is challenging to prepare for. There's nothing easy about it. There are no plays off. They challenge you in every aspect, so we've just got to be very sharp. Our execution has to be at its highest level, and it's going to be the toughest defense we've faced all year. We're going to have to see if we can meet that challenge."
The Texans will travel to Gillette Stadium to face the New England Patriots for the AFC Divisional game on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7:15 p.m. CT on CBS and SportsRadio 610.
Check out the best photos from Wednesday's practice as the Texans prepare for Saturday night's playoff game against the Patriots.