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Patriots need to neutralize Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07: Jadeveon Clowney #90 of the Houston Texans is congratulated by his teammates after an interception against the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Wild Card game at NRG Stadium on January 7, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) Getty Images

Sure, the Patriots thumped the Texans during the regular season, 27-0. Six years ago, they beat the Jets 45-3 in the regular season — and lost to them in the playoffs.

For the Texans to have a chance at what would be one of the biggest upsets in postseason history, they need to muster a potent pass rush. Indeed, when the Patriots struggle in the postseason, it often occurs when the opposing defense is applying consistent and persistent pressure upon quarterback Tom Brady.

When facing the Texans, the key for the New England offensive line will be to slow down defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and linebacker Whitney Mercilus. That’s precisely what Patriots radio analyst Scott Zolak had to say during a Tuesday visit to PFT Live.

Zolak had plenty more to say, including a fairly broad estimate regarding the duration of Tom Brady’s grip on the starting job in New England.

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33 Responses to “Patriots need to neutralize Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus”
  1. grabgrabgrab says: Jan 11, 2017 5:25 PM

    shut up! Like they won’t be able to with ease….

  2. bondlake says: Jan 11, 2017 5:39 PM

    By the time Belichick is done with him, Clowney will look like a clown.

  3. buckybadger says: Jan 11, 2017 5:54 PM

    If there really are any football gods next year we will see Clowney, Mercilus and Watt all be healthy for a full season next year. Not a Texans fan, just want to see that. Of course they are still stuck with Osweiler but that D would be fun to watch.

  4. tomtravis76 says: Jan 11, 2017 5:56 PM

    The Houston coaches don’t truly believe they can beat Bill. Bill already knows everything they are going to try and do. The Houston players need to just play ball as their coaches would rather not even play the game.

  5. firstand4ever says: Jan 11, 2017 5:58 PM

    Romeo and Bill O’Brien always lose the chess match with Belichick. You would think that their knowledge of The Pats would play to their benefit but it never does. The Pats neutralize good pass rushing teams by spreading teams out and using quick passes. The Texans pass defense needs to harass the Pats receivers and force throws by Brady. You need to be physical in the secondary to have a chance. If there is a weak spot in your secondary. Rest assured The Pats will find it.

  6. Flash1287 says: Jan 11, 2017 6:02 PM

    They neutralized Von Miller in Denver and Suh and Wake twice
    I’m sure they can handle these 2

  7. ikeclanton says: Jan 11, 2017 6:07 PM

    What Houston needs to do is have 3 pick-six plays in this game in order to have a chance. Even then, the Pats would win it in the 4th quarter.

  8. Nofoolnodrool says: Jan 11, 2017 6:14 PM

    firstand4ever says:
    Jan 11, 2017 5:58 PM
    Romeo and Bill O’Brien always lose the chess match with Belichick. You would think that their knowledge of The Pats would play to their benefit but it never does. The Pats neutralize good pass rushing teams by spreading teams out and using quick passes. The Texans pass defense needs to harass the Pats receivers and force throws by Brady. You need to be physical in the secondary to have a chance. If there is a weak spot in your secondary. Rest assured The Pats will find it.

    4 0
    Report comment

    You sound like faux Patriot Sage TedMurph who last year said the PATS OWNED Wade Phillips defense….worked out well with Brady getting tossed around like a puppy’s chew toy.

    The Pat’s are good……but not good missing an o.

  9. ariani1985 says: Jan 11, 2017 6:14 PM

    Old 2 yard tom will be running for her life!

  10. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 11, 2017 6:15 PM

    “The Houston coaches don’t truly believe they can beat Bill. Bill already knows everything they are going to try and do. The Houston players need to just play ball as their coaches would rather not even play the game.”

    Yeah right. If you believe that you know nothing about those guys.

    They will go to Foxboro with every intention of winning the game. They will pull out every trick play, odd blitz or anything else the have in reserve they haven’t used this year already so those plays are not on film, and they will do their best.

    Texans may well lose the game but it won’t be because the coaches didn’t do everything possilbe to prepare that team.

  11. havok82 says: Jan 11, 2017 6:18 PM

    They really only have to neutralize Clowney. As long as the O line is healthy and Scar is there, they will find a way. Von Miller terrorized them last year and this year he was in the witness protection program for the game.

    It all comes down to turnovers, really. The Texans, who were a -7, have to figure out a way to make a team that was +11 make mistakes. Seattle did it, but they have the secondary to do it. Houston….not so much.

  12. The Truth says: Jan 11, 2017 6:22 PM

    Texans should go alternative colors maybe yellow, red and blue you know the colors of pastene tomato cans

  13. patsfan4lifesbchamps says: Jan 11, 2017 6:29 PM

    Does anyone really believe all those ex Patriots on the Texans coaching staff will go full throttle against their former team? Sorry Texans fans, your team will fold rather early and you will all blame Osweiler for the entire team playing badly.

  14. imodan says: Jan 11, 2017 6:29 PM

    The Truth says:
    Jan 11, 2017 6:22 PM
    Texans should go alternative colors maybe yellow, red and blue you know the colors of pastene tomato cans
    ———————————————————————
    Now see? This is an example of witty trolling which I always respect. I see what you did there sir, and a tip of the cap to you.

  15. 6ball says: Jan 11, 2017 6:31 PM

    .
    Watch out for the onside kick on the opening kickoff.
    .

  16. stexan says: Jan 11, 2017 6:39 PM

    Clowney and Mercilus get all the ink, but Benadrick McKinney get in his licks from the inside position. Cushing’s not what he used to be, but he’s still better than average as well.
    If they can keep their cool the D can make a game of it.
    Question is what’s Os gonna do?

  17. jchipwood says: Jan 11, 2017 6:56 PM

    Cheater vs ex qb coach who worked for the cheater. 2017 Cheat bowl……who will cheat more?

  18. liparulos says: Jan 11, 2017 7:02 PM

    Clowney is a lot different from Von Miller, who took apart Brady and the Patriots’ offense in last year’s AFC title game. Clowney has improved greatly this season, but he doesn’t have the ridiculous speed that Miller has (few do), and he hasn’t completely mastered the techniques necessary to consistently win against well-coached, technically-sound offensive linemen that the Patriots will use to scheme against him.

    The game will probably turn on Bill O’Brien freaking out and making a big game-management mistake for the Texans. Still, I’m looking forward to an exciting game.

  19. straightfactshomie says: Jan 11, 2017 7:09 PM

    Jadaveon Clowney? Is he accepted as so good at this stage in his career that you need to neutralize him to win? The pass rusher that has a total of 10.5 sacks in his career in basically 2 full seasons?

    Houston is bad, I would take 80-90% of the teams in the league against them if the Texans were on the road. This game should take zero analysis, the Patriots are the best team and the Texans are among the worst teams in the league, discussing what the point spread is far more interesting.

  20. concrete998 says: Jan 11, 2017 7:12 PM

    Bennett, Edelman, Amendola, Mitchell, Hogan, Floyd, White, Lewis, Blount, and the GOAT!

    How do you stop them? Too many weapons!

  21. youknowiknowitall says: Jan 11, 2017 7:15 PM

    Cheater vs ex qb coach who worked for the cheater. 2017 Cheat bowl……who will cheat more?
    ———-
    I know who it wont be – your MIA Dolphins. Not this time. Not this year. And likely no time soon. What’s it been since MIA won anything, 45 years now?????

  22. YouCryin?PatsMustBeDoingTheirJob says: Jan 11, 2017 7:25 PM

    (yawn). Roll Houston, much like Miami, then on to the AFC championship game, at home of course, then off to Houston, full circle. It will be the Patriots 7th super bowl in 16 years, ya know. Yes, that’s right, the 7th. What’s not to love? We are truly spoiled in Patriot nation. So, enjoy super bowl Sunday. It’s the most watched event on television, by far. And it will be the Patriots 7th super bowl in 16 years. Amazing.

  23. RE LEE says: Jan 11, 2017 7:30 PM

    If the opposing defense is applying consistent and persistent pressure on the QBs, QBs struggle. Nothing exclusive to Brady.
    Texans have really good people. The Pats just have to play well esp. now that the Pats don’t have Gronk. We’ll see. Quite sure the Patriots are not taking the Texans lightly.

    Cheat Sheet.. Patriots number 15, what’s your team’s ranking haters?

  24. 1pavikingfan says: Jan 11, 2017 7:32 PM

    Pats by 30.

  25. terripet says: Jan 11, 2017 7:34 PM

    Houston 23 Cheaters 20 Brady will be sacked 4 times

  26. txndave says: Jan 11, 2017 7:44 PM

    Go Texans!!!!

  27. youknowiknowitall says: Jan 11, 2017 7:58 PM

    Watt has never done anything in games vs NE so I’m not expecting much from these guys either.

  28. manureman says: Jan 11, 2017 8:17 PM

    Pats need to score 17 points game over!

  29. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 11, 2017 8:46 PM

    “Houston 23 Cheaters 20 Brady will be sacked 4 times”

    I know Terripet, the Bills had another embarrassing season and there’s very little hope of anything but the same for years to come. You were duped into thinking the owners the made the Sabres so successful would do better with the Bills, but its clear now the Bills will be a shambles as long as they own the team.

    No wonder you’re so angry but its not healthy. The people you need to be mad at are not the Pats, but the people who have owned and operated the Bills for the last 15 years.

  30. LSUStrong says: Jan 11, 2017 8:53 PM

    “Houston 23 Cheaters 20 Brady will be sacked 4 times”
    ===============================

    Hummm. A little more analysis please. Ignoring for a moment the basis for your assumption and the Pats run game, I guess it’s possible that the Pats only score 20 if Brady gets sacked four times seeing as the Giants sacked him 5 times in SB XLII and the Pats only put up 14 points, but (not ignoring the other two points) how do you come by 4 sacks when Houston wase only able to get one against the Pats third string quarterback and do you really think Houston will hold the Pats to less than 50yards running like the Giants did? Based on the game earlier in the season I don’t see that happening. As for Houston scoring 23, that you definitely have to justify.

  31. 1910nuffsaid says: Jan 12, 2017 2:52 AM

    As a Houston fan here and someone who has watched every game I can tell you the huge fault with The Texans D, an I can assure you if I have seen it so have the Patriots. The Texans have a good pass rush not a great one especially without JJ. But the Texans DB’s love playing 10 to 12 yards off the line of scrimmage so they can keep everything in front of them, they are a great tackling team which works against bad opponents. But a great QB will be patient hit 8 to 9 nine yard slants wait for the DB’s to move up then kill them up the middle (where the Texans are weak). The Texans DB’s do not have great speed and it is the same 2 starting that played in 2012. Trust me I have seen this movie before. It will have the same outcome.

    Patriots 34 Texans 13

  32. firecracker87 says: Jan 12, 2017 10:56 AM

    Lotta firing of the muskets going to be happening Saturday night.

  33. solo681 says: Jan 13, 2017 1:03 PM

    youknowiknowitall says:
    Jan 11, 2017 7:58 PM

    Watt has never done anything in games vs NE so I’m not expecting much from these guys either.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The Texans D has been playing BETTER without Watt, if you haven’t noticed.

    Their D has come together and are in sync right now. This is a different team then earlier in the season. I expect a close game in the first half. If the Patriots are caught snoozing on this one, then UPSET is coming.

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