Great breakdown of Ninkovich’s clutch interception that really slammed the door on the Texans. Another thing that played into the Patriots hands was how the Texans had been picking on Tavon Wilson with Casey. Made it even more likely they’d dump it off there even if Wilson was in coverage.
The Patriots, from film study, knew how Schaub would react to a blitz. In every offense, if a certain player rushes, then one or more receivers will break off their routes, otherwise known as a “hot” route. The Patriots knew that Casey was going to be Schaub’s hot route, and were willing to bet that he would rush his throw to Casey. Schaub read blitz, and figured that since Mayo was the only linebacker on the field, that the middle would be wide open to throw to his hot route. What he didn’t see was that Ninkovich, though he started on the line, had replaced Mayo as the middle linebacker in the defense and was in perfect position to pick off the pass.