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Texans vs. Patriots, 2013 AFC Divisional Playoffs: Houston can't get past Tom Brady

After claiming another playoff berth in the AFC, the Houston Texans were knocked off by the New England Patriots. It was a crushing loss for the organization that has continued to make strides.

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The Houston Texans seem to get closer to playing in the Super Bowl each year -- building in the offseason just to beat one team. But no matter the number of NFL superstars they bring in, they cannot seem to overcome Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

The divisional loss this past weekend was heartbreaking for Texans fans, as they had to watch their hopes snatched away from No. 12 and that right arm of his.

TexansDC at Battle Red Blog briefly summarized the disappointing loss on Sunday:

As is customary, there will be people looking to blame someone for the loss. Myself? The blame has to go on the defense. One sack and three receivers (Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, and Shane Vereen) had over 83 receiving yards each. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips could not make the adjustments to match New England's offense andBarrett Ruud and Shiloh Keo covering people is laughable in a bad way.

The defense is going to have to improve safety depth, to rid the roster of Keo and Quintin Demps, and get more athletic at inside linebacker, even after Brian Cushing comes back. It is painfully apparent that Houston's defense cannot match up with a spread-style offense. Between those offenses and mobile quarterbacks becoming fashionable in the NFL, the Texans defense will need to improve to keep up. Also, the Texans need to find some way to get a pass rush up the middle of the field, so Shaun Cody may not be re-signed.

Houston could just not find a way to slow the up-tempo attack by this New England offense. Even though the Texans had their opportunities here and there, Tom Brady and the Patriots picked them apart. They could not match up, even after Rob Gronkowski re-fractured his surgically-repaired forearm and had to leave the game.

It was an uphill battle from the get-go, and more than that, it was just a game that the Texans never had a hold of. A very tough loss for Houston.

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