The New England Patriots did a good job of erasing some of the memories from Week 1 against the Chiefs in New Orleans. The Patriots’ offense put on a display, en route to a comfortable 36-20 win. Their offense didn’t miss a beat, other than Rob Gronkowski coming up gimpy with a groin injury. However, Gronk should be good to go against the Texans in Foxboro.
Tom Brady put on a clinic, passing for 447 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Saints’ defense didn’t have many answers for a determined Brady last Sunday. Get Brady upset and motivated, and that is usually the result. It was laughable to think that their loss against the Chiefs was the start of the end for the Patriots. Especially in Week 1 when nothing really means much.
Come back at the end of the October and a better picture will be present. I expect Brady and the Pats to be right up there as a Super Bowl favorite. I must admit though, there are some bugs they have to work out on defense. Offensively, I don’t care that Julien Edelman isn’t healthy, it’s the defense that will be their downfall if they don’t look out. The Texans on the other hand I can’t speak so highly about.
In any event, I believe the Texans are heading in the right direction. Unfortunately for J.J. Watt, though, by the time they figure it out, he will just be on the decline. Let’s say Deshaun Watson gets this offense clicking in two years. That would put Watt at 30 years old, which is just about when most defensive lineman start to slow down.
For a guy who has had issues staying healthy, I doubt he’s going to be playing at full-speed come then. Watson has shown that he could have the ability to be a franchise quarterback in the future. The ceiling is high for him, despite the fact you will see some bumps for him in his rookie campaign. The young Watson will get an eye-opener of a matchup against Tom Brady in Week 3. Let’s look for a winning pick between the Texans and Patriots.
Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots Betting Odds:
vs. Patriots -14(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Texans vs. Patriots Pick:
Gronkowski will be fine for action, and Danny Amendola who was banged up is reportedly going to be active as well. The Pats can survive without Edelman, but if they start losing Gronkowski and Amendola, then I’m going to start to get worried about the New England offense. Gronkowski is notoriously known as a guy who has had trouble staying healthy, so he is one to keep an eye on. Gronk came to life in Week 2, as he caught 6 balls for 116 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots looked more like the Patriots. If they wanted to, I think they could have scored more points. It was a 36-13 game late with it completely out of reach.
The Texans haven’t beaten the Patriots since 2010. The Pats are on a six-game winning streak over Houston. That includes this past January in the postseason, a 34-17 win for New England. It what ultimately became the beginning of a Super Bowl run in the playoffs. The closest they’ve come in the last seven years was in 2013, a 34-31 win for the Pats. In his career, Brady has thrown 17 touchdowns and 6 interceptions against the Texans.
Look for the Patriots to burn a trail through the NFL. After getting embarrassed at home in Week 1, I like Brady and the Patriots still have something to prove that it was just a fluke. They’ve done it before, so no reason to doubt them now. This is the first game back since Week 1 against the Chiefs. I wouldn’t put it past them to put up more big numbers against the Texans in this spot. Yeah, the Texans do have a good defense, it’s the motor that keeps them going.
However, a motivated Patriots team is going to be hard for any team to slow down, especially a Patriots team that was blown out the last time they were in Foxboro. The Pats will score in this game, but the defense leaves me a little weary to be laying 14 points. If nothing else, Deshaun Watson will lead the Texans to a couple of touchdowns, and maybe a garbage touchdown if the game gets out of hand. I worry about a backdoor cover here, but the OVER should be a winning pick regardless.
PICK: OVER 44 (-110)