There’s no way to go but up from here. The Patriots may have played a close game against their old adversary with the Buccaneers, but close or not they still sit at 1-3. That is not an ideal spot to be in a month into the season. This is a big bounce back game for the Patriots against the Texans. This is a beatable team that they cannot afford to underestimate. One more loss to in a winnable game and the season might be lost.
The offense really started to open up last week. Mac Jones proved he can run and command an NFL offense last week, and that was easily the biggest takeaway. The kid can read a defense, find open receivers and man can he take a hit. They need to protect Mac Jones going forward if he is going to be able to complete passes down the field. He throws so many short passes because he has no time for receivers to get downfield. The odds of that changing this week with Wynn and Onwenu on the COVID list, they may be digging into the backups on the offensive line.
The playmakers started to finally make plays in the passing game. The tight ends each had a touchdown. Jakobi and Bourne looked great in moving the chains. Agholor made a few plays, but this weak secondary in Houston is one he might be able to finally break a big play against. What really needs some work is the running game. In the preseason it looked like they were going to rush for 250 yards a game. They were negative last week. Damien Harris is a hard runner but they need to open up some lanes for him. If Rhamondre Stevenson ever gets out of fumble jail he may be able to add a spark to the ground game. Brandon Bolden and fumbling JJ Taylor is just not going to cut it.
The defense was also stifling last week, holding a dynamic Bucs offense to 1 TD. If they can play the same way this week then it should be an easy shutout. However, they have not played that consistent lately. Davis Mills has really struggled in stepping into the starter role for Houston, and if the Pats apply some pressure it should cause some easy turnover opportunities. JC Jackson should matchup well against Brandin Cooks, and they don’t have many other big threat options after that. They have a plethora of backs that they can throw at the Pats defense, so KVN and Hightower are going to have to step up their came and cover these backs.
This has to be a win for the Patriots against the Texans. There’s no way they overlook a team like this in this spot. 31-13 Patriots over Texans.
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-Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83)