By Dave Thomas

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 24: Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots walks off the field after a game at Gillette Stadium on November 24, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

(Credit, Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

If the Houston Texans were hoping for a really good chance to break their losing streak, it certainly does not come in the form of the New England Patriots this Sunday at Reliant Stadium.

Mired in a nine-game losing streak, the Texans will take the field at home this time against the AFC East leading New England Patriots. After dropping a 13-6 decision at home last Sunday to the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars, do the Texans even stand a chance against Tom Brady & Co?

When the season kicked off over two months ago, even the most experienced NFL analysts could not have foreseen what would become of the Texans.

With a pair of wins under their belts to start the 2013 campaign, the Texans have gone out and proceeded to drop nine straight contests. Along the way there have been some blowout losses, some games where a play or two could have swung the outcome in Houston’s favor, a coach that went down at halftime of the contest with Indianapolis due to a mini-stroke, even some sideline theater in the likes of replaced starting quarterback Matt Schaub and star wide receiver Andre Johnson shouting at each other. Safe to say, this is one movie the Texans would simply like to burn.

Patriots Provide Stiff Test

As the NFL schedule dictates, it is five more games this season for a Houston team that is already faced with some decisions to make in the off-season, notably around head coach Gary Kubiak and Schaub, among others. For now, however, the Texans are hoping to just pick up a few wins in their remaining games to at least end the 2013 season on a high note.

Having lost last Sunday to an equally bad Jacksonville squad, Houston may very well have blown its last good shot at getting that third victory of the season.

The Patriots enter Sunday’s contest fresh-off their wild 34-31 overtime victory at home last Sunday evening in frigid Foxboro.

Down 24-0 at halftime, Brady and the Patriots rallied to take the lead, then get a game-winning field goal in overtime to move within a game of both Denver and Kansas City (each 9-2) for the top spot in the AFC playoff race. While there is always the chance for a letdown after such an emotional win, the odds makers have made the Patriots a 7.5-point favorite for Sunday’s match up.

If Houston is to have any chance to get its third victory of the season, it will have to do it of course without the services of star running back Arian Foster and linebacker Brian Cushing, both of whom are done for the year.

As of Wednesday’s injury report, the Texans were dealing with the following issues:

Did not participate

  • ILBDarryl Sharpton(Back)
  • DEAntonio Smith(Not Injury Related)
  • GWade Smith(Knee)
  • SJawanza Starling(Hamstring)

Limited Participation 

  • CBKareem Jackson(Ribs)
  • ILBMike Mohamed(Hamstring)
  • ILBJeff Tarpinian(Groin)
  • RBBen Tate(Ribs)

Full Participation 

  • SShiloh Keo(Neck)
  • CBElbert Mack(Hamstring)
  • ILBJoe Mays(Knee)
  • TDerek Newton(Knee)

For more Houston Texans news and updates, visit Houston Texans Central.

Dave Thomas has been covering the sports world since his first job as a sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania back in 1989. He has covered a Super Bowl, college bowl games, MLB, NBA and more. His work can be found on


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