The Patriots and Texans each rebounded from opening week losses to settle their records at 1-1. On Sunday, J.J. Watt will get his opportunity to drag Tom Brady to the turf when the two teams meet in Foxborough. Their Week 3 showdown kicks off at 1 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on CBS (live stream).
Watt has been quiet in his first two games back after missing the bulk of 2016 to injury. While he’s made seven tackles, he’s yet to record a sack — something he did 20.5 times in both 2012 and 2014. He’ll have the opportunity to bring down a future Hall of Famer Sunday — assuming he can slice through a New England offensive line that has allowed five sacks already this season.
Time, TV channel, and streaming info
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
- TV: CBS
- Streaming: CBS All Access
- Odds: New England is favored by 14.5 points.
Texans at Patriots news:
- Since 2014, the Texans have started more quarterbacks than any team in the league — even the Browns.
However, since Bill O’Brien became the head coach of the Texans in 2014, his team has taken that crown. The Browns have had eight different starting quarterbacks in that timeframe. Deshaun Watson will make it nine quarterbacks for the Texans when he starts Thursday night against the Bengals.
- The Patriots pass rush has been better than expected, and it could wreck a weakened Texans offensive line Sunday.
Houston can’t do anything about its rivals’ upgraded defenses, but there’s an easy fix that will allow Watson or Savage a little extra security -- the team can pay Duane Brown. Brown, a three-time Pro Bowler, has been an anchor of the team’s offensive line since 2008, protecting the blindsides of passers like Matt Schaub, Brian Hoyer, and Ryan Fitzpatrick at left tackle. He wasn’t on the field Sunday, however; instead, he’s stuck in a contract holdout that’s scratched the team’s most reliable blocker from the lineup.
- Deshaun Watson is a work in progress — but he still gives Houston its best chance to win.
Watson was poised and efficient when he needed to be, helping the Texans bleed clock in the fourth quarter with short passes and well-timed scrambles that kept the chains moving. Bill O’Brien clearly didn’t trust Watson enough to open up the playbook, and there are a lot of wrinkles in his game that need to be ironed out. But he had enough good moments to build on
The surefire Hall of Famer was gifted the deepest offense in New England Patriot history after a busy offseason brought players like Brandin Cooks, Mike Gillislee, Rex Burkhead, Dwayne Allen, and Phillip Dorsett into the fold.
Instead, injuries have decimated one of the league’s top offenses, and Brady will have to find a way to do what he’s done for several years — make do with less and spin chicken turds into chicken salad.
- Rookie Deatrich Wise Jr. is already paying dividends in the Patriots pass rush.
With one glove, Wise ripped the 38-year-old New Orleans Saints quarterback down by the shoulder pads for a drive-killing loss of eight yards. And in the process, the 23-year-old New England Patriots defensive end became just the second player in the Bill Belichick era to notch a sack in both Week 1 and Week 2 of his respective rookie season.
How will Deshaun Watson react to the Patriot defense?
New England has given up more than 330 passing yards per game in 2017, but that’s more a function of playing Drew Brees and a rejuvenated Alex Smith to start the season. They’ll have an easier assignment Sunday against the Texans rookie. Watson has only six quarters of NFL experience under his belt, and he’s averaged only 5.4 yards per pass in that span. For reference, Brock Osweiler averaged 5.8 yards per attempt last fall before being shipped to Cleveland.
Texans at Patriots prediction:
In this week’s NFL picks, seven of our eight human experts as well as OddsShark’s computer all like the Patriots to win.