Bill Belichick sometimes will show New England Patriots players and coaches key developments from other games around the NFL, as those situations could come up in their own games.

Along those lines, here were a few takeaways from the “Thursday Night Football” game between the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans.

Aligning properly on the field-goal rush. The Texans fell behind 24-0 and were setting up for a field goal just to get on the board in the second quarter when the drive was extended by a Colts penalty for lining up over the snapper. That produced a first down, the Texans went on to score a touchdown on the drive, and subsequently made a game of it before falling short in the end. That’s a good teaching point in the special teams room, as it wasn’t a head-up alignment on the snapper but enough of a shade to produce the penalty.

Front-line awareness on the kickoff return unit. The Colts successfully executed an onside kick after their first touchdown, with Pat McAfee recognizing a unique alignment in which the Texans left the middle of the field wide open. It’s hard to imagine that’s the way Houston special teams coach Bob Ligashesky drew it up, but once again, it serves as a good reminder to those on the front-line to always be alert. For the Patriots, the front-line against the Bengals consisted of cornerback Logan Ryan, linebacker Ja’Gared Davis, running back Brandon Bolden, safety Duron Harmon, linebacker Chris White, and safety Tavon Wilson.

Hurry-up offense travels well. When Texans running back Arian Foster took a handoff after a quick snap and ran 2 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter, CBS analyst Phil Simms said, “We’ve seen that play many, many times …read more