The Texans will have back Garrett Graham, their primary-blocking TE who missed the previous match-up with a concussion. This will allow receiving-TE Owen Daniels to get released more unlike in the previous match-up where he was not much of a factor. Stopping Daniels will be key for the Pats Pass-D.
On the flip-side, balancing this out, the Patriots will have Gronk back who missed the previous match-up. With the Texans down yet another ILB, the Pats middle-of-the-field attack will have its chances. Imagine if Bengals TE Gresham hadn't dropped all those passes last night; the Bengals might have been able to win it.
Jonathan Joseph, the Texans' best CB, looks to be healthy again. Paired with Jackson these two will make it all the more important for the Pats to hit the Texans hard between the numbers as they can both lock down the field wide of the numbers. In the previous match-up Joseph didn't look to be fully healthy. Last night, he did.
Chandler Jones, the Pats best DE/OLB, looks to be healthy again. The problem for him is he'll be seeing a lot of LT Duane Brown who will not be an easy match-up. With Ninkovich possibly out or nursing an injury Pats edge-pressure may need some more blitzes if Scott/Francis can't step up as they have before. The Houston RT Newton isn't particularly good, but with the aforementioned TE Graham back they will have slightly better pass protection than before.
The Texans had their pride injured. They won't be bringing those silly letterman jackets like they did last time, they'll come ready to play unlike last time.
It's gotten colder outside. The Texans are a dome team from Texas and with any luck they like the Dolphins in Week 17 will not know how to handle the cold.
Somethings that haven't changed:
The weakness of the Texans D's back-7 is still between the numbers. Gronk, Hernandez, and Welker are back together and healthy.
The weakness of the Texans O is 3rd down and long. Make Schaub beat us but don't let him get comfortable.