Patriots vs. Texans: Three Week 14 Stars of the Game

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Star Number One: DL Jabaal Sheard

Dec 13, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Jabaal Sheard (93) sacks Houston Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer (7) and forces a fumble during the second half at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots were able to get consistent pressure on Hoyer throughout the game, finishing with six sacks on the night. Jabaal Sheard not only had two of those sacks, he was constantly in the back-field, forcing Hoyer to throw the ball before he wanted to.

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Sheard was an absolute force for the Patriots on the defensive line on Sunday night, having arguably his best game in a Patriots’ uniform. His two sacks were both game-changers, and both times Sheard forced a fumble from Hoyer.

Sheard’s second strip-sack came early in the fourth quarter. He flew by Texans right tackle Derek Newton, chased down Hoyer and slammed him to the ground with the force to cause the fumble. It was quickly recovered by Patriots defensive tackle Malcom Brown, and the Patriots quickly scored a touchdown, putting the game away.

The game was probably over anyway, but Sheard single-handily slammed the door shut. Sheard was not only a pass rushing force against the Texans, he continued his strong play against the run. Sheard is arguably the best run defender on the Patriots defensive line, and he did a great job making many plays against the Texans’ rushing attack.

He finished with five tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles and three quarterback hits. Sheard is an extremely talented and versatile defensive lineman who is becoming an absolute force up front for the Patriots.

He was a huge key for the team on Sunday night, and will continue to be so moving forward. Dominant performance from Sheard.

Next: Honorable Mentions