HOUSTON - Does one person make a team? The answer to that question seems simple: No.
This is especially true when talking about football, the ultimate team sport. But what if the general terms were replaced. Does Tom Brady make the Patriots? The answer to that question may not be so straightforward.
Sports is one of the great debates, almost always providing that gray area for a case to be made for either side of an argument. But when it comes to Brady, there is little room for a dissenting opinion.
We’ve all heard the phrase “numbers don’t lie,” so let’s talk numbers. How about the number 1? That’s how many regular season games Brady has lost at home against the AFC since 2007. Or 2, the number of interceptions Brady threw this season (not to mention his 28 touchdown passes).
Maybe 3 is more your style. That’s where Tom ranks in NFL history when it comes to game-winning drives (49 game-winning drives). All those numbers have helped Brady reach the most important number of all: 4, the number of Super Bowl rings he has.
So back to the original question: Does Tom Brady make the Patriots? Yes, he makes the Patriots immeasurably better and more dangerous to face.
Now to the hard question: How can the Texans beat the Patriots? With only two losses this season, there isn’t much game tape to search down that answer. The answer to that problem may not be found on tape, and I think Bill O’Brien and the Texans know it.
Case in point, the Texans wore shirts this week with one simple word “grit." In translation: play hard, mistake-free football. And that still may not be enough.
We’ve all seen those Brady temper tantrums on the sideline. The answer to beating the Patriots may be in that overflow of emotion. If the Texans can manage to get consistent pressure on Brady and move him out of the pocket to an area that is out of his comfort zone, his temper will flare up. Add in some explosive plays on offense, and the Texans have a real chance.
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