HOUSTON — Win the turnover battle.
That’s Texans coach Gary Kubiak’s biggest concern as his team prepares for a divisional playoff game at New England.
The Patriots lead the NFL in turnover differential this season at plus-25. The Texans have done well in that area this year and were seventh with a plus-12 margin.
But in the first meeting with New England, Matt Schaub threw an interception on Houston’s second drive, contributing to an early 14-0 hole in a 42-14 win by the Patriots.
“They get them,” he said. “They don’t give it up. If we go in there and do anything to help them we’re in trouble.”
Kubiak is also preaching the importance of taking advantage of opportunities this week. He was unhappy with Houston’s inability to do that in the first meeting with the Patriots.
The Texans were just outside of the red zone when Schaub was intercepted in that game. And Houston went on fourth down twice before halftime and didn’t convert after passes fell incomplete.
“Missed opportunities, they hurt all the time, but against these guys they’re a lot worse because of what they do offensively and how good they are,” Kubiak said of the Patriots. “When you get opportunities to go down there and score some points, you better. You better not hurt yourself. We’ve got to find ways to do that. They’re going to make plays and we understand that, but we got to find a way to make quite a few ourselves.”
Another component of that will be for Houston to score touchdowns instead of settling for field goals like it did again and again against the Bengals.
Houston dominated the first half of that game, outgaining Cincinnati 250-53, but led by only two points at halftime after kicking three field goals.