The New England Patriots are coming off a loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday Night. A night where the offense once again struggled to meet expectations.
The Houston Texans kept the New England Patriots under wraps for what was basically the entirety of the game.
Houston’s defense was putting pressure on Tom Brady, and if they weren’t able to get to him, the coverage was so good that it caused Brady to hold on to the ball for far too long or he would just throw the ball away.
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New England’s wideouts were unable to create separation for most of the night. If something did go the Pats’ way, it was either a penalty or great plays from Houston that stopped them right in their tracks.
One of plenty of great plays for Houston was from corner Bradley Roby, who picked off Brady late in the first quarter, setting up Houston’s first touchdown of the night.
The offense did not seem to get going until it was far too late. The spark was a familiar hero by the name of James White.
White is all too familiar with NRG Stadium, he had a performance for the ages in Super Bowl LI, which included the game-tying AND game-winning scores in the 25-point comeback against the Atlanta Falcons.
White would score on a 12-yard pass from Brady late in the 3rd, bringing the score to 21-9, and would score again late in the fourth on an 11-yarder.
White also had a few chunk plays that helped the Patriots get in position to score throughout, including catch-and-runs of 15, 19, & 36 yards, and a 32-yard rush.
With the help of White, New England would come close to making what would’ve been a miraculous comeback. Running back Brandon Bolden accidentally batted the ball out of bounds when he attempted to pluck it out of the air on a high bounce from an onside kick try. The final score was 28-22.
New England Patriots needs to use James White early and often.
There is no secret that James White can be a deadly offensive threat. Since 2015, he leads all running backs in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. He is perhaps the best at catching passes out of the backfield, alongside other great receiving backs like Le’Veon Bell.
James White can be a matchup nightmare. It is extremely difficult for linebackers to match up on him one-on-one, and he can also make defenders miss in the open field.
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Going to him early can be one of the things that may open the offense up. An issue with Patriots’ receivers is that they fail to consistently create separation.
If the Patriots get him involved in the offense early & often, that will bring more attention to him, leaving more room for other weapons to get open and make plays.
Then mixing in him and fellow tailback Sony Michel in the backfield together can be something they can look into with the offensive line getting healthier and the running game being more effective over the last few two weeks.
Whatever the Patriots decide to do, they must do it fast, as they have Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs coming to town.