New England Patriots: Studs and duds vs. Texans in Week 13

Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images /
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Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images /

Stud: Julian Edelman

Julian Edelman is clearly the top target in the passing game for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his impact is a very important aspect to opening things up in the passing attack for New England throughout the course of the game.

On Sunday Night Football, Edelman was held at bay for the majority of the first half of play and that allowed the Texans the opportunity to jump out in front of New England and try and take it out of the game early on.

Edelman did finish with a nice overall performance in the game following a standout second half, finishing with a team-best 106 yards and one touchdown on six receptions with 12 overall targets, averaging 17.7 yards per catch.

The wide receiver did finish with a nice game for New England, but his absence in the first half was too much for the Patriots to try and overcome at the end of the day.

Dud: Supporting cast in passing game

For the majority of the contest, really outside of the late-game comeback attempt, nobody outside of Edelman was able to do a ton in the passing game for New England and its wide receiving unit. The Patriots passing attack combined to tally a total of 326 yards through the air, a large amount of which came in the second half, led by Edelman with 100-plus yards receiving in the contest.

New England running back James White did pick up the slack with 98 yards receiving and two touchdowns out of the backfield within the passing attack, but no other wide receiver on the Patriots roster managed to record over 50 yards receiving or three receptions outside of those two players.

When Edelman is taken out of the game by an opposing defense like he was for a majority of the opening half in Week 13, someone else in this offense and among the wideout group needs to step up. That was one of the glaring issues for New England during the game on Sunday Night Football.