Good stuff here with great all-22 screen shots and I agree with this 100X about Woodhead:
Part of what makes the Patriots so dangerous is, with Tom Brady’s magic at the line of scrimmage and a fast tempo of play, they can gouge defenses with the same concepts again and again -– especially on the ground. Stevan Ridley has given them a very productive run game, but the Patriots are arguably more dangerous with Danny Woodhead in the backfield. Not only is the fifth-year pro a terrific space-oriented runner, he’s a very dangerous receiver when split outside or coming from the backfield. No matter what package the Texans are in, the Patriots will find ways to create favorable one-on-one receiving situations for Woodhead.
We also talked a lot about this on the podcast:
Instead of focusing so much on the run, look for Houston to attack New England’s linebackers in coverage with an array of underneath crossing patterns and screens. This week, the play-action element will be more about setting up proper angles for east-and-west misdirection than it will be about getting linebackers and safeties to bite against the run. That’s because the Patriots will likely be in man coverage, which means eyes will be on receiving targets and not the backfield.