High School

Texans must find way to score against Patriots

201301052014728569481-p2.jpeg

Texans must find way to score against Patriots

HOUSTON (AP) Another trip to New England awaits the Houston Texans, and coach Gary Kubiak knows what his team has to do to have a chance against the Patriots in the second round of the playoffs.

``We had a rough trip up there last time, but we've earned our right to go back,'' Kubiak said. ``We want to go back and play a heck of a lot better than we did.''

The AFC East champion Patriots trounced the Texans 42-14 at Foxborough on Dec. 10, and Houston gets another shot after beating Cincinnati 19-13 in Saturday's wild-card game.

Houston had lost just one game this season before that loss began a terrible month where the Texans lost three of their last four regular-season games to fall out of the top seed in the AFC.

The Texans did enough to beat the Bengals, but they have to figure out a way to score touchdowns against a New England team that averages 34.8 points per game.

Houston got in the red zone four times on Saturday, and settled for field goals three of those times after the offense stalled.

``Get in the red zone, playing New England, we have to get touchdowns,'' left tackle Duane Brown said. ``You've got to do a better job up front, whatever play is called ... can't settle for field goals. Everyone was pretty disappointed and that was a good thing. We're disappointed we got field goals and that's a sign of a great team, great offense, and we'll look at it and see what corrections need to be made.''

Making his first postseason start, quarterback Matt Schaub threw an interception which was returned for a touchdown before halftime on Saturday. But he shook off the mistake to finish 29 of 38 for 262 yards. Schaub missed last season's playoff run with an injured foot.

He believes the recent trip to New England will help the Texans in this visit. The Texans were 6-0 on the road before the debacle at New England.

``What we learned and the situations we were in a month ago, we can definitely pull from that,'' Schaub said. ``We've been down that road. We know what it takes to win and that's play good road football. We didn't do that last time we played up there.''

Houston had struggled on both sides of the ball on third down recently, but fixed that problem on Saturday. The Texans entered Saturday's game having converted just 15 of 49 third-down attempts in their last four games.

On Saturday, they converted 47 percent of their third down attempts.

The Texans' defense is looking to build on the solid performance it turned in against the Bengals. Houston held the Bengals to 198 yards on Saturday.

``I'm not the biggest believer in momentum in the world, but it definitely feels good to get back in our rhythm, get back to doing what we do,'' defensive end J.J. Watt said. ``We're going to have some good film to watch because if we're going to go up there and beat them we need to play a game like we played (Saturday). Offense holding the ball, defense getting off the field on third down.''

Arian Foster powered Houston's offense on Saturday with a season-high 32 carries for 140 yards. He had just 46 yards rushing in the loss at New England, and is looking forward to proving that this team is much better than the one that showed up the last time in Foxborough.

``They have a great coach and a great quarterback and they have great role players on their team,'' Foster said of the Patriots. ``I have a lot of respect for them, but we can play ball, too. We didn't play our best football up there and we hurt ourselves with penalties and mistakes. Anytime you give them opportunities, they'll take advantage of them. But we'll play our best up there.''

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Q&A with Gonzaga 5-star QB Caleb Williams about why he picked the schools in his final 5

Q&A with Gonzaga 5-star QB Caleb Williams about why he picked the schools in his final 5

Caleb Williams, the 5-star quarterback out of Gonzaga College High School, dropped his final five of college options last Monday: Maryland, Penn State, Clemson, LSU and Oklahoma.

According to Caleb’s father, Carl Williams, they plan to make a final decision about which program he'll attend before the new school year starts. They want Caleb to be able to enjoy his senior season and focus on recruiting other student athletes to come with him wherever he chooses to go.

I had a conversation with Caleb to find out what stood out to him about each of these programs and why they made the cut.

When I think of Penn State, I think, “We Are.” Happy Valley has an amazing football community steeped in tradition. Why are you potentially interested in playing for Coach [James] Franklin?

Other than the 110K fans they have each week -- I’ve known Coach Franklin since freshman year, and I’ve known a few of the other coaches on staff since before then, so it’s all about relationship building.

Beyond that, their fans are great. I went to the Blue/White game, and they were just as loud as if it were a real game and they were playing Michigan or Ohio State.

In considering the [Clemson] Tigers, not only do they offer the “ALL IN” championship culture, but also the potential of playing for a coach like Dabo Swinney, who dances and goes out of his way to connect with student athletes. What attracts you to Clemson?

Like you said, Coach Dabo… he’s a mature kid. He’s awesome [laughs]. He’s awesome and he’s really genuine. He’s a Christian man, and you can’t really beat that.

He doesn’t consider what he’s doing “work.” He loves going in and doing what he’s supposed to do in life. 

LSU is the defending National Champion -- so they have that in their favor -- and Heisman trophy winner Joe Burrow starred at quarterback with the Tigers. Last season’s offensive coordinator Joe Brady has left for the NFL, though. Why are you still considering LSU?

Coach O [Ed Orgeron]. He kind of makes you want to run through a brick wall at times. On game day, when you have that juice running through you, there’s not much anybody else can do to you. When you have love for the game [individually] and are willing to run through a brick wall, you should be unstoppable. 

And their fans… if you haven’t been to an LSU game, you need to go. They say some things I can’t say on social media, but it’s an awesome experience. You’ll laugh and have a great time.

What coach [Lincoln] Riley has been able to do with quarterbacks at Oklahoma is unheard of. Every year they have a Heisman candidate at QB putting up huge numbers. How do you see yourself fitting into that Boomer Sooner system?

If you look at the last four years or so, I believe I can do just about anything Kyler [Murray], Baker [Mayfield] or [Jalen] Hurts have done either physically or mentally. And if you look at the history of Oklahoma football -- they’ve produced hall of famers both at the NFL and college level. Also, with Coach Riley being who he is; an awesome family man and awesome coach, you can’t really beat that.

The University of Maryland makes your top five, and the DMV community is going nuts over that. Coach [Mike] Locksley is building something special. [Wide receiver] Rakim Jarret is attempting to lead the next “Stay Home Movement.” If you choose the Terps, it’ll blow the roof off this thing.

I’ve known coach Locksley and coach Scottie Montgomery for years now. I’ve known coach Scottie since he was at Duke with coach [David] Cutcliffe, Peyton Manning’s coach, and I’ve known coach Locksley since he was at Alabama when they were recruiting me.

Over time, they’ve continued to recruit me and now that coach Locksley is back home, Maryland is on the list.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

Quick Links

How to watch Capitals vs. Maple Leafs NHL 20 simulation and Caps' chippy Nov. 18 win over Ducks

How to watch Capitals vs. Maple Leafs NHL 20 simulation and Caps' chippy Nov. 18 win over Ducks

The Capitals’ simulated season continues on Tuesday night when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs in NHL 20, aired on NBC Sports Washington. Real-life Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin will be on the call.

In a partnership with Monumental Sports Network, NBCSW is airing all Wizards and Capitals games in simulated NBA 2K20 and NHL 20 games, taking place on the dates and times according to each team's regular season schedule with commentary from NBCSW's experts surrounding the coverage.

After the game wraps up, NBCSW will reair the Caps’ physical Nov. 18 affair with the Anaheim Ducks. Richard Panik scored his first goal in a Washington uniform and Garnet Hathaway was ejected after exchanging more than just blows in a fight with several Ducks.

Here’s how you can catch both games Tuesday night.

Broadcast Schedule

7:00 PM – NHL 20: Toronto Maple Leafs @ Capitals (P)

8:00 PM – NHL Classics: Anaheim Ducks @ Capitals from Nov. 18, 2019 (R)

10:30 PM – NHL 20: Toronto Maple Leafs @ Capitals (R)

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS: