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Patriots Host Texans Looking To Rebound From Super Bowl Loss

by Daniel Gerbick on Friday, September 7th, 2018

TOM BRADY NEW ENGLANDThe Houston Texans travel to Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in a match featuring Bill Belichick against former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien.

Fresh off a Super Bowl loss to the Eagles the Patriots will look to start the season with a victory trying to avoid the slump that usually affects teams that don’t win the big game.

This is the second straight year that the Texans visit New England early in the season as last year they lost 36-33 in week three and that game ended with quarterback Tom Brady engineering an 8-play 71-yard drive that culminated in a 25-yard reception by Brandin Cook.

After suffering season-ending injuries last year, J.J. Watt and quarterback Deshaun Watson are healthy once again and should be on the field on Sunday. They must play a big role in this game if the Texans are to avenge last year’s heartbreaking defeat.

Watt will be vital for the Texans because this game will be determined in great part by the battle in the trenches. The Texans aggressive defensive line will prove a great challenge for the Patriots offensive line that will need to find who will protect Brady now that Nate Solder is gone to the New York Giants.

Although the Patriots don’t have established wide receivers on their roster this year their passing attack will always be a threat as long as Brady continues to be at the helm of this offense.

Even though Dion Lewis is gone the Patriots running backs are always dangerous as they take turns when the offense is on the field. James White is a threat in the passing game, Jeremy Hill should handle short-yardage situations and Rex Burkhead handling the rest of the carries.

The Patriots offensive line will need to play above their talent level in this one if the Patriots want to win. If they fail to protect Brady and open good holes and lanes on the ground for their rushers the Texans could shock the world and earn a rare win in New England.

They have enough offensive weapons to do so as running back Lamar Miller will command most of the attention from the Pats defense on the ground while the explosive tandem of Watson and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will be the main threat through the air.

Watson and Hopkins form a very dangerous duo that last year was on a record-setting pace before the rookie quarterback suffered his season-ending injury.

Look for this to be a very close match, but the Patriots should persevere as they are nearly unbeatable when playing at Gillette Stadium.

The Texans will make this a very entertaining match, but Brady’s experience added to the uncertainty of Watson’s and Watt’s level of play coming back from injury should let the Patriots avoid this early-season bullet.

 

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