New England Patriots: Initial look at the Houston Texans

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 14: Deshaun Watson /

The New England Patriots earned their first win in week 2, and now they’ll return to Foxboro for a clash with the Houston Texans.

Both the New England Patriots and Houston Texans are coming off wins in week 2 of the NFL season. Both are 1-1 so far on the year, but these teams could not be any more different.

One offense is being led by the greatest quarterback of all time, the other is led by a rookie. One defense has the best defender in the league rushing the passer, the other is  relying on young talent to get to the QB.

DeShaun Watson will again be at the helm for the Texans in week 3, and that shoudl excite the Patriots defense. Watson made his firt career start last Thursday night, and although he earned a win the offense didn’t look great. The Patriots will need to be aware of Watson’s scrambling ability though, as he scored the games only touchdown with a 49-yard run to take down the Bengals.

On the other side of the ball, Tom Brady and the offensive line will be dealing with J.J. Watt and Jadaveon Clowney. The pressure will certainly get to TB12 at some points throughout the game, but he will need time to throw the ball on a consistent basis.

Let’s take a look at both teams by the numbers here.

New England Patriots
New England Patriots /

When the Patriots have the ball

Scoring & yards per game

  • Patriots points per game #6 31.5/game
  • Texans defense #12 19/game

The Patriots may not put up 30 points in this game. Scoring somewhere between 24-27 points should be enough though.

  • Patriots offense #1 463 yards/game
  • Texans defense #6 287.5 yards/game

The amount of yards the Patriots had against New Orleans was one of the highest amounts under Bill Belichick, EVER. That isn’t going to happen against this Houston defense. Pressure on Brady will be much higher than it was when the Saints were coming, but He could still end up with 250+ yards on the day. The running backs will have to fight through a tough defensive line though to earn a 100 yard day.


  • Patriots passing offense #1 341.5 yards/game
  • Texans passing defense #6 169 yards/game

Tom Brady is so much better than any other QB in the league, especially those in Jacksonville and Cincinnati. Yes, it’s impressive that Houston has held opponents to 169 passing yards per game so far, but they haven’t had much competition. This is a matchup Brady and the Patriots can win if he has time to throw.


  • Patriots rushing offense #10 121.5 yards/game
  • Texans rushing defense #22 118.5 yards/game

The 118.5 yards per game allowed rushing is somewhat surprising from the Texans. I expected that number to be much lower honestly. The Patriots have 4 capable backs, and that allows them to stay fresh deep into the game. If New England has a lead again, we may again see a 120+ yard rushing day for the team. J.J. Watt is banged up, so that helps too!

New England Patriots

When the Patriots are on defense

Scoring & yards per game

  • Texans offense #30 234.5 yards/game
  • Patriots defense #31 483 yards/game

The Patriots defense has not been good so far, but they did enough to slow down a Drew Brees led offense. Watson is a different type of QB and his mibility could be an issue. The Texans will probably move the ball better than they have all season.

  • Texans points per game #29 10/game
  • Patriots defense #29 31/game

Hopefully New England can bend but not break. They’ll need to hold the Texans under 20 points in order to win this game.

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  • Texans passing offense #32 104 yards/game
  • Patriots passing defense #31 350 yards/game

The Texans are missing Duane Brown, who’s still holding out. That means Deatrich Wise and Trey Flowers should be able to get some pressure on Watson, and hopefully they can take him down to prevent the long scramble.


  • Texans rushing offense #7 130.5 yards/game
  • Patriots rushing defense #28 133 yards/game

Lamar Miller is one of the best running backs in the NFL, and he’s the top weapon for the Texans offense. Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia love to take away a teams top threat, but I’m not sure that the players on the field will be able to this week.

Next: Patriots 4 running backs a valuable asset

New England should win this game, but it will really all come down to the defense. In week 3, they need to play a lot better than they have so far in 2017 to help their offense out. Brady will have a decent day, but we all know Houston usually has a great game plan defensively. This should be a really fun early season game to watch!