Watson, Belichick: Part One

AFC Game Of The Week

Houston Texans (1-1) at New England Patriots (1-1)

Texans: They looked terrible against the Jaguars in week one. The offensive line looks so out of sync without Duane Brown who continues to hold out for a new contract and without him, they gave up ten sacks in that opening loss to Jacksonville. In week two, they finally decided to start Deshaun Watson which I felt was the best thing they could do and he didn’t disappoint. After all, you traded up to get him, so why continue to keep him on the bench? Although they only scored 13 points last week, the offensive line looked somewhat better and if you want to win football games, Watson is your best bet if you want to win a football game. He wasn’t all that impressive, but with him in the lineup, the Texans offense definitely had more of a spark to them. Things now will be different for their defense who will be without Brian Cushing for the next ten games due to his suspension for failing a second drug test and that’s a tough loss for them because he’s their anchor in the middle. Even without him, they’re still a very formidable defense that can get after the quarterback and make a play. For the third in a full calendar year, they’ll face the team that eliminated them in the playoffs last season and that’s the one and only New England Patriots.

Patriots: They bounced back in New Orleans only the way they know how to. Here’s the thing about New England: They will NEVER struggle in back to back games because no team is better at making the necessary adjustments than the Patriots themselves. Tom Brady came out firing on all cylinders and threw three touchdown passes in the first quarter for the first time in his career. Although their offense came out and had themselves a day at the Superdome, I’m still concerned about them moving forward because they don’t have that signature pass rusher that they’re known for having and there’s a lot of uncertainty in the secondary because they still give up a ton of big plays and there’s still miscommunication within the backend, but I think it’ll get fixed and by week eight and we’ll be singing their praises once again. I guess you can also say there’s a concern about their offense which is pretty short-handed. Edelman is gone as we all know, Amendola was sidelined with a concussion, Malcolm Mitchell is on injured reserve with a knee injury and Gronkowski injured his groin on Sunday and if he’s out, this could change the entire dynamic of their offensive scheme especially with all the weapons that are out now. I know they acquired Dwayne Allen from the Colts, but he’s no Gronk and that’s no disrespect to him. They’re back home on Sunday to face Houston.

Texans Player To Watch: C.J. Fiedorowicz– For a rookie quarterback, he has three guys he can rely on: A consistent running game, a trusted wide receiver that can make a nice catch over the middle and the tight end. I see C.J. Fiedorowicz being targeted frequently over the middle to be that chain mover.

Patriots Player To Watch: Deatrich Wise– He’s been that hidden gem for the Patriots so far after two games. He’s a rookie that can help solve the Patriots issue at rushing the passer. The potential tandem of he along with Trey Flowers could help them up front in the front four on that defensive line. He’ll be in on trying to keep Deshaun Watson contained and in the pocket.

Final Analysis: This is the fourth meeting between these two since 2015. Last year, New England shut out the Texans in the regular season and Houston didn’t even cross the 50-yard line all game. In January, they met again and Houston hit them hard and put continuous amounts of pressure on Brady throughout the game, but Houston ended up hurting themselves late in the game. Watt will be on the field and New England will, of course, find a way to neutralize him somehow. The Texans do have the defense to pressure Brady up the middle. Bill Belichick is perfect against rookie quarterbacks. It could be a long day for Watson on Sunday.

Prediction: Patriots 35 Texans 17