Houston Texans at New England Patriots (pick)
Earlier today, Skip Bayless basically said he would take Alex Smith over JJ Watt if he were building a team……….. Anyway, I doubt he’d take Jacoby Brissett over Watt, and that’s who the Patriots are starting tonight. I expect a large dose of RB LeGarrette Blount. The Texans are allowing 4.9 yards per carry on the ground at the moment, and the Patriots need to establish the run in order to contain Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus, and Watt. When Brissett does drop back to pass, he’ll have Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, and perhaps Rob Gronkowski running quick, shorter routes to neutralize the Texans pass rush, which has 9 sacks so far.
This is a big game for Texans QB Brock Osweiler. This is their first road game, and even though the Patriots are starting their 3rd string QB, beating them at home is no small task (23-2 last 25 games). The Texans have a lot of talent at wide receiver and running back while having a decent offensive line that has allowed 4 sacks so far. The Patriots have only collected 3 sacks themselves, but I believe they will have a good plan to get pressure in Osweiler’s face.
I’ve foolishly picked against the Patriots twice and lost. Do I dare pick against them again? Uhhhhh…………..yes. It will be a close game however and I would not be surprised at all if Osweiler makes a killer mistake. I just think the Patriots will have trouble scoring touchdowns.
Pick: Texans 24 Patriots 23