Patriots v.s. Texans: Season Opener Preview
The day we’ve all been waiting for since February is finally upon us. The NFL officially kicked off on Thursday, but the rest of the league all starts Sunday. It’s been a long hard road but we made it. The Pats will see a familiar foe in the Houston Texans on Sunday. This will be the fourth straight season the teams will play eachother. The Patriots have won every one of those matchups, including a playoff game. They’ll look to keep that streak up in this coming Sunday.
It will be very interesting to see the dynamic of the offense with not many receivers and no Julian Edelman. Chris Hogan and Rob Gronkowski will be the go to guys in the offense early on. However, this is no secret to anyone, so they will most likely be doubled all day. Someone is going to need to step up and help create opportunities for those two. James White will figure to see a huge workload, in the short passing game as well as the run game. Most likely Rex Burkhead will see the same, and Jeremy Hill will be the workhorse. This combo could work out, but it won’t for all 4 weeks without Edelman. Phillip Dorsett will need to step it up and make an impact. Cordarrelle Patterson will, but he’ll make his impact on gadget plays. I expect a minimum of 4 TDs this week. Gronk and Hogan will combine for 3, and 1 out of a RB.
The defense shouldn’t be too different from last season. The defensive line is improved, which should hopefull prevent Deshaun Watson from running in circles around them this season. A healthy Trey Flowers, Adrian Clayborn, Deatrich Wise, and Lawrence Guy should contain him. Stopping the run might be the difficult part. The linebacking corp is still thin, and Lamar Miller is a solid RB, and a guy like Pat Chung will have to step up big to help stop the run. The return of Dont’a Hightower should also be helpful. The matchup of the day will be Gilmore and Hopkins. Gilmore did not look great in the preseason, but he is still an elite corner and should have a hell of a battle with DeAndre Hopkins. Will Fuller exploded in the few games he played with Watson as well, so he is not to be forgotten about.
Overall the Pats should not lose this game, but the Texans are not a bad team by any means. It should be an exciting start to the season, but I see a 31-27 win for New England.
-Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83)
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