Patriots-Texans: Two nuggets of note

A couple of statistical nuggets of interest as we look ahead to the Patriots-Texans clash on Monday (8:30, ESPN):

* Texans like two TEs, too: The Texans have used two or more tight ends on 84.1 percent of their plays this season (excluding kneels and spikes), the highest rate in the NFL. The Patriots led the NFL in 2011 (80.5 percent) and 2010 (65.5 percent), but have slipped to third this season (57.2 percent) with Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski both missing games due to injury.

* Third downs key for Patriots O and Texans D: The Patriots have converted 52.9 percent of their third down plays this season, and are the only team with a rate higher than 46.0 percent. The Texans have allowed opponents to convert 28.4 percent of their third downs, the best defensive rate in the NFL.