Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots fans have a lot to be happy about after a completely dominant performance against a Houston Texans team considered one of the league's best teams. They held the No. 2 offense in the league to 14 garbage-time points and scored 42 points against the No. 6 defense.
The New England Patriots won one of the premier games of the 2012 season Monday night, and it wasn't close, as they scored the game's first four touchdowns before going on to win 42-14.
Every year as December comes, the New England Patriots turn into a juggernaut: they've now won seven straight. Their 42 points increased their NFL-best scoring average and was their fourth 40-point outing in the last six games -- and it came against a team that entered the game with the league's best record and a defense that even after the whipping is No. 6 in the league points allowed. It was complete domination against a supposedly elite team, and as Patriots blogger Tony Santorsa wrote at Pats Pulpit, it was a statement game for New England. He stated his case for Tom Brady as the league's MVP after the game:
Brady was as good as it gets against Houston's sixth-ranked defense as he posted a 125.4 quarterback rating. TB12 completed 21 of his 35 passes for 296 yards while tossing four touchdowns and wasn't intercepted once.
On the NFL's biggest stage against the AFC's top seeded team, Brady was dominant and proved why he's the NFL's MVP.
However, it wasn't just a great offensive performance: fellow Pats blogger Greg Knopping noted an improved secondary on a team that didn't let the second-best offense in the league score until the game was already out of hand in his postgame recap.
Of course, the story of this game was the defense. They allowed just seven points to the Texans' starters. Arian Foster? Just 46 yards on 15 carries. Matt Schaub? 19 for 32 and an interception. The Patriots stepped up defensively, against one of the most explosive offenses they've faced all year.
At 10-3, the Pats are just a game off the Texans for home-field advantage in the playoffs.