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Sports

January 12, 2013

Texans defense healthier for rematch against the Patriots

(Continued)

“Now, it’s a little bit different,” he said. “So, I’ll be out there and try to make plays of my own.”

Reed had a sack last week against the Bengals; he now has at least one in each the three postseason games in Texans history. His best playoff performance came last season against the Ravens when he had 2½ sacks.

Joseph appreciates Reed’s versatility.

“He can play the run and the pass, so he’s a two-sided guy,” Joseph said. “I think he had just experience from last year coming in ... so just having Brooks back and those guys rotating and whatever they’re doing up front, I think it just helps those guys from a health standpoint and just being fresh all the time.”

Houston is hoping to build on last week’s dominant defensive performance in its 19-13 wild-card win over the Bengals. The Texans limited them to 198 yards, which was the lowest yardage total in the first round of the playoffs, and only 53 before halftime.

They also cleaned up their problems on third down, not allowing Cincinnati to convert any of its nine third-down chances.

This week the Texans know they must get pressure on Tom Brady and make him uncomfortable in the pocket. They’ll look to defensive star J.J. Watt to lead that charge. Watt led the NFL with a franchise-record 20½ sacks in the regular season. He also had 107 tackles, including 39 for losses, 16 passes defended and forced four fumbles.

In Watt’s rookie season, the Texans lost to the Ravens in the divisional round.

“We were happy to make it as far as we did, but this year, new year, new goals,” he said. “Biggest goal of them all, Super Bowl, and this is a big step for us, and we’re really excited about the challenge.”

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