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Sports

January 7, 2013

Texans must find way to score against Patriots

HOUSTON — Another trip to New England awaits the Houston Texans, and coach Gary Kubiak knows what his team has to do to have a chance against the Patriots in the second round of the playoffs.

“We had a rough trip up there last time, but we’ve earned our right to go back,” Kubiak said. “We want to go back and play a heck of a lot better than we did.”

The AFC East champion Patriots trounced the Texans 42-14 at Foxborough on Dec. 10, and Houston gets another shot after beating Cincinnati 19-13 in Saturday’s wild-card game.

Houston had lost just one game this season before that loss began a terrible month where the Texans lost three of their last four regular-season games to fall out of the top seed in the AFC.

The Texans did enough to beat the Bengals, but they have to figure out a way to score touchdowns against a New England team that averages 34.8 points per game.

Houston got in the red zone four times on Saturday, and settled for field goals three of those times after the offense stalled.

“Get in the red zone, playing New England, we have to get touchdowns,” left tackle Duane Brown said. “You’ve got to do a better job up front, whatever play is called ... can’t settle for field goals. Everyone was pretty disappointed and that was a good thing. We’re disappointed we got field goals and that’s a sign of a great team, great offense, and we’ll look at it and see what corrections need to be made.”

Making his first postseason start, quarterback Matt Schaub threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown before halftime on Saturday. But he shook off the mistake to finish 29 of 38 for 262 yards. Schaub missed last season’s playoff run with an injured foot.

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