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TE Martellus Bennett - New England Patriots

6-6, 259Born: 3-10-1987College: Texas A&MDrafted: Round 2

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Photo: Matt Marton, US Presswire

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Week 19: vs Houston Texans

All TE vs HOU

Mark and Joe say: Tough matchup. New England won its eighth consecutive division title during the 2016 regular season, the longest streak in NFL history. The Patriots are also the only team in NFL history to win 13 division titles in a 14-year span. This is the fourth post-season appearance by the Texans in franchise history, by comparison - they have back-to-back AFC South titles, and have won four of the last six divisional titles. These teams have already met this year - the result was a 27-0 New England victory in Week 3 (September 22, 2016), during a game in which Tom Brady didn't play due to his Deflategate suspension... Brady has 22 career playoff wins, the most in NFL history. Brady is also the NFL postseason leader in career completions (738), attempts (1,183), passing yards (7,957) and touchdown passes (56). This past regular season Brady finished with 291/432 for 3,554 yards passing, 28 passing scores and two interceptions thrown (with 28/64/0 rushing) over 12 games played. Brady blew up the Dolphins in the regular season finale, throwing 25/33 for 276 yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions with zero sacks taken before Jimmy Garoppolo cleaned up the 35-14 shellacking. Julian Edelman (13 targets for 8/151/1 receiving), Michael Floyd (four for 3/36/1) and Martellus Bennett (five for 3/33/1) all hauled in scores during the rout. The Patriots' pass offense is well rested after their bye and come into this game on a roll. Houston's pass defense ended regular season ranked second in the NFL averaging 201.6 net passing yards allowed per game, with 11 interceptions (tied for 21st in the NFL) and 31 sacks (tied for 24th) generated over 16 games. From Week 15-17 of regular season (the last three weeks, with no teams on bye), Houston averaged 12.1 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks (second-least in the NFL); and 17 fantasy points per game allowed to wide receivers (seventh-least); with 2.4 fantasy points given up per game to tight ends (second-least). Matt Cassel managed 16/26 for 133 net yards, one TD and one interception thrown vs. Houston in the season finale, while third-string Oakland quarterback Connor Cook threw 18/45 for 139 net yards, one TD and three interceptions with three sacks taken for -22 yards at Houston last weekend. Houston has seen backup and third-string talent of late, but they did have a solid pass defense all years long despite what the Fates decreed over the past two weeks. This is a tough matchup for Brady even though he enjoys home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPRECYDTDFumLPts
15 at DEN 67 2 35 0 0 3.5
16 vs NYJ 50 2 19 1 0 7.9
17 at MIA 52 3 33 1 0 9.3
19 vs HOU 64 1 4 0 0 0.4
19 vs HOU PROJ-Dodds * 4 * * * *
19 vs HOU PROJ-Tremblay * 2 * * * *
19 vs HOU PROJ-Bloom * 3 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2016 Week 17 vs MIA (5 / 3 / 33 / 1 rec)

Though he wasn't integrated into the passing game in a big way, Bennett still managed to snag a short touchdown. He simply slid past defenders up the seam and snared a touchdown while his man coverage defender was far too late to the ball. A fairly simple play, but well executed, and less than stellar defense was taken advantage of.

2016 Week 16 vs NYJ (2 / 2 / 19 / 1 rec)

Though Marty B snagged a touchdown, that was nearly it on the day, with a total of 2 catches. His touchdown was a short seam route that went for 5 yards, with a good catch by Bennett and good location from Tom Brady.

2016 Week 15 vs DEN (4 / 2 / 35 / 0 rec)

Bennett wasn't a huge focal point in the gameplan, as the Patriots attacked the Broncos through the ground game. As a result, he was in on several blocking plays, as has become the norm.

2016 Week 14 vs BAL (4 / 4 / 70 / 1 rec)

For the first time in a while, Bennett had a nice game on the stat sheet, punctuated by a 19 yard touchdown. On the play, Bennett ran step for step with a defender, but snared a lob pass out of the air while being draped in coverage. While the separation wasn't great, the concentration and catch were. Beyond that, Bennett blocked well, and did have a chunk gain of nearly 30 yards on another intermediate pass.

2016 Week 13 vs LA (4 / 2 / 4 / 0 rec)

Though many were expecting a huge game from Bennett due to Gronk's injury, that wasn't the case. Bennett blocked often, and the Patriots used more 2 back and 3 receiver sets, limiting his target volume. Bennett may also still be stinging from some injuries. Expect his passing game role to swing wildly from game to game going forward.

2016 Week 11 vs SF (2 / 1 / 14 / 0 rec)

A golden opportunity for Bennett this week in a choice matchup (49ers) and Rob Gronkowski out of the lineup turned into a dude performance. Bennett did not see a target until the mid-second quarter when a slant route pass went right through his hands. Bennett finally got on the board with an inconsequential out route in the second half. Without red zone opportunities and just two targets, Bennett was the big disappointment for a Patriots offense putting up 30 points and four touchdowns in the road win.

2016 Week 10 vs SEA (7 / 7 / 102 / 0 rec)

Bennett was one of the few players on the Patriots who showed up to play against the Seahawks, taking short passes and often turning them into chunk gains. Bennett looked like Gronk's brother out there, shedding defenders, blocking well, and more. Though his involvement varies from week to week, the Patriots would be wise to continue to use him in the fashion they did against the Seahawks and letting him work after the catch.

2016 Week 8 vs BUF (5 / 4 / 35 / 0 rec)

Bennett blocked quite a bit on the day, and as a result, his stat line was fairly muted. This may be a theme for Bennett on several occasions.

2016 Week 7 vs PIT (2 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)

A fairly quiet day for Bennett, who spent much of the afternoon blocking for a Patriots team that turned run heavy against the Steelers. Better days can be expected for the big tight end.

2016 Week 6 vs CIN (5 / 5 / 48 / 0 rec)

Bennett didn't have the big day he did last week, but was lucky to escape without injury after a low cheap shot by Vontaze Burfict. He saw several targets on the day, but most were short or intermediate as Rob Gronkowski dominated deep balls. Bennett blocked well, as usual, and forms a formidable tight end duo with Gronk.

2016 Week 5 vs CLE (8 / 6 / 67 / 3 rec)

Bennett put on a show, catching all of Tom Brady's touchdown passes. His first touchdown was a comical walk-in off a play action, where Bennett literally walked into the end zone after being wide open. His second was a nifty catch in heavy traffic that many players would have likely dropped or bobbled. The third was a deep shot on a route where Bennett beat his man on an out and go. He was hurt briefly early, but clearly the injury wasn't serious. Bennett may have up and down weeks, but it's clear he will have some huge gains in this offense.

2016 Week 4 vs BUF (6 / 5 / 109 / 0 rec)

Bennett was the only Patriot who did much on the day, highlighted by a 58 yard jump ball reception. He also had a couple catches with some very good yards after catch, and blocked well as usual. However, it wasn't enough, as the Patriots shot themselves in the foot time and time again.

2016 Week 3 vs HOU (3 / 2 / 10 / 0 rec, 1 / 6 / 0 rush)

Bennett was called upon once again to block on a majority of his snaps, as the game plan on offense was fairly conservative. Both his catches were designed plays thrown to him at the line of scrimmage. As expected, his week to week lines will be fairly up and down.

2016 Week 2 vs MIA (6 / 5 / 114 / 1 rec)

Bennett was the beneficiary of some savvy playcalling, good blocking, and masterful quarterback play. Bennett got much of his yardage on short flips after the catch, as there were several designed near-screen type plays for him. His touchdown saw him beat his defender on a go route, and his quarterback looked off the safety in the other direction before firing back at Bennett for the score. He also blocked well once again. Bennett will likely be called upon to block heavily once again the next couple weeks, making him a low-floor, high-ceiling type of play.

2016 Week 1 vs ARI (5 / 3 / 14 / 0 rec)

Bennett was used sparingly in the passing game, but made his presence felt in the blocking game, as he was often responsible for some great pass protection or creating a seal here and there in the run game. He was also the recipient of a phantom holding call that nearly cost the Patriots dearly, when in reality he simply manhandled Chandler Jones. If the Patriots' offensive line continues to struggle, his role may be inconsistent as he may be required to block more. With that said, he still makes for a sizeable red zone target.

More

Latest News

Patriots | Martellus Bennett to be UFA (Sun Jan 15, 01:26 PM) - New England Patriots TE Martellus Bennett will be an unrestricted free agent Thursday, March 9, at 4 p.m. EST.

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Patriots | Martellus Bennett dealing with injury (Sun Jan 15, 12:56 PM) - New England Patriots TE Martellus Bennett (leg) suffered a leg injury during the Divisional round playoff game but said he will be ready for the AFC Championship next week.

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Patriots | Martellus Bennett admits to pressing (Sun Jan 15, 12:36 AM) - New England Patriots TE Martellus Bennett had one catch for four yards on four targets in a 34-16 win over the Houston Texans Saturday, Jan. 14, and he said after the game that he was pressing too hard.

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