PLAYERS TO WATCH
Blount is a punishing runner who rushed for 1,161 yards, his first 1,000-yard season since 2010, his rookie year with Tampa Bay. He led the league with 18 touchdowns on the ground, including 11 from the 1-yard line. He had 67 runs for first downs and seven for 20 or more. The Texans saw Blount at his physical best in September when he carried 24 times for 105 yards and two touchdowns. He fumbled once in 299 carries.
The Texans’ leading tackler has to make sure to protect the middle of the field against a New England running game that ranked seventh. LeGarrette Blount (6-0, 250) is a power back who likes to run between the tackles. That’s where McKinney comes in. Either tackle, or slow him until help arrives. He recorded 129 tackles, including 79 unassisted. He was the only player in the NFL with at least 100 tackles and five sacks.