PatsTexans Stat Pack

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PatsTexans Stat Pack

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I love numbers. Random numbers. Stupid numbers. And in anticipation of Sunday's game, the ESPN STATS & INFO blog has posted a collection of PatsTexans playoff tidbits that are right up my alley. "Literally."

Here are the aforementioned fun facts, complete with SRO commentary:

The Patriots beat the Texans 42-14 in Week 14 but, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, teams that lost to a team by at least 28 points in the regular season are 11-11 when playing that team in the playoffs. That list of losers includes the Patriots, who beat the Jets 45-3 in a regular season meeting but lost to them a few weeks later in the playoffs.

SRO: This is unbelievable, and certainly hammers home just how insignificant last month's victory was. To be honest, I would have been impressed if even six of the 22 teams had bounced back to win. But 50 percent? How is that even possible.

Tom Brady is 16-6 in 22 playoff starts (tied with Joe Montana for most wins by starting QB in playoff history). He is 6-6 in his past 12 playoff starts after starting 10-0 in his first 10 playoff starts.

SRO: The 6-6 record is scary, and makes the days of "10-0" feel like a lifetime ago. That being said, it's pretty cool that Brady has a chance to break the all-time wins record on Sunday. Also, in looking at his 16-6 lifetime playoff record, let's take a second to remember that Peyton Manning will take the field on Saturday with a career playoff record of 9-10.

Bill Belichick is 17-7 in the playoffs (tied for third-most wins by a head coach).

SRO: Tom Landry is the all-time leader with 20, so Belichick can tie him if the Pats win the Super Bowl. If the Pats merely make the Super Bowl, Belichick's two wins will be enough to tie Don Shula (19) for second place.

This is the fourth time the Patriots are a No. 2 seed. They won Super Bowl XXXIX in 2004, won Super Bowl XXXVI in 2001 and lost Super Bowl XXXI in 1996.

SRO: I wasn't aware of this but I like it when the Pats get the second seed, they get to the Super Bowl. Guaranteed. 100 percent. Like a Shaughnessy column.

The Texans lost their only other appearance in the divisional playoffs (2011 at Ravens).

SRO: Houston went down 17-0 in the first quarter of that game, and never recovered eventually losing 20-13. If the Pats can jump out to anywhere close to that kind of early lead, it will be lights out for the Texans. There are a few reasons why . . .

Texans running back Arian Foster has 425 rushing yards in three postseason games, the most ever by a player in his first three playoff games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

SRO: The first is Foster. The Pats held him to 46 yards on 15 carries back in Week 13. That was his fourth lowest yardage of the season. If New England can jump to a quick lead on Sunday, the Texans won't be able to focus as much on establishing Foster. And then . . .

Texans quarterback Matt Schaub has no touchdowns and three interceptions in his past 3 games. It's the first time he's gone three straight games without a touchdown pass since 2007.

SRO: They'll have to rely on Matt Schaub. And if you're the Patriots, that's exactly who you want to have the ball in his hands. I was shocked by how shaky and uncomfortable Schaub looked in the huddle on Saturday. And that was at home, in the first round, against an inferior opponent.

The Texans have lost two straight road games following a 6-game road winning streak to start the season.

SRO: And signs certainly point to them going home with No. 3.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Will the Celtics part with the right to Brooklyn’s 2017 first-round pick in order to get a star before Thursday’s trade deadline? 

MORE TRADE TALK

Citing a pair of NBA executives, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote this week that Danny Ainge’s willingness to trade the pick should be in doubt.

Sola named Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Paul George as potential targets, adding that the C’s might include the latter.   

Wrote Isola: 

Two executives doubt that Ainge, who historically plays it close to the vest, would give up the Nets pick in a deal for Butler. However, Ainge might consider it in a trade for George, the Pacers-free agent-to-be who has expressed doubts over re-signing with the Pacers.

‘With Danny, no one ever knows what he might do,' said the executive. ‘He's one of the best. If he thinks he can make a run at the Cavs this season, considering all the injuries Cleveland has had, I can see him making a move.

‘Everyone is talking about Butler to Boston but Danny and Larry Bird go way back. Paul George could be the sleeper.’

This season, the 26-year-old George is averaging 22.3 points 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game. 

Blount on free agency: 'I definitely want to go back to New England'

Blount on free agency: 'I definitely want to go back to New England'

LeGarrette Blount knows where he wants to be for 2017. Ever since he re-joined the Patriots in 2014 following a short stay in Pittsburgh, the 250-pound back has been very open about how he wants to play out the rest of his career in New England. 

Those feelings haven't changed, even as he faces free-agency after having recorded the best season of his seven-year career.

"I just want to make sure that I go to this free agency with an open mind, knowing that I definitely want to go back to New England," he told NFL Total Access on Monday. "I love it there. I love the culture. I love the players. I've become close with a lot of the guys. Obviously you know how my running back group is.

"We'll cross that bridge whenever we cross it. On that point, I feel great. I'm in amazing shape. I feel like I could play 100 more years if I have to."

Blount finished 2016 with career-highs in attempts (299) yards (1,161) and touchowns (18). His ability to help the Patriots close games in the fourth quarter was notable throughout the course of the season, and he was among the most effective goal-line backs in the league. His 18 rushing scores are a franchise record.

Toward the end of the season, as Dion Lewis worked his way back into the Patriots offense, Blount had his workload cut into, and his fumble in the Super Bowl was a near-catastrophic moment -- his devastated reaction to which was caught expertly by NFL Films. But a big-picture view of Blount's year would reveal that he  posted the most prodictive "big back" season the Patriots have had in more than a decade.

Blount signed a one-year deal with the Patriots last offseason after seeing his 2015 prematurely ended by way of a hip injury. He turned 30 in December.