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.