The New England Patriots travel to face the Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football this week. Both teams are leading their respective divisions coming into this contest.
Through its first 11 games, New England has taken just one loss. The only team to top them was the hottest team in the AFC, Baltimore. The Patriots are a squad that is full of playmakers on the defensive end, while the offense is currently a work in progress. They have several injured receivers, and the decision to let Josh Gordon go is looking worse and worse. Even with all of their limited receivers, the guys that are still out there are getting the job done. Running backs Sony Michel and James White continue to play well.
Houston does have a chance at home to take the defending champs down, but a hot start could go a long way. Deshaun Watson has been as effective as any QB this season and is looking like a seriously elite signal-caller. After getting embarrassed 41-7 by Baltimore, the Texans rallied to knock off the Colts 20-7 last week to move atop the AFC South. They have a solid running game and one of the top receivers in the game. And when push comes to shove, they are a solid team.
The spread for Sunday night’s game favors the Patriots by three points, with the over/under set at 46.5.
New England Looking For 11
The Patriots have the fifth-highest scoring offense in the NFL, while their defense allows the fewest points in the league. At 42, Tom Brady’s numbers have dropped off, but he’s completing 62 percent of his passes and has 15 TD passes to just five picks. He has thrown for nearly 3,000 yards to date, without any game-winning drives. The Patriots have scored 20 points or fewer in three straight games, so we’ll see if their offense can break out of its funk. A loss in this one would put the Bills within a game of the top of the division.
The Patriots defense has forced 29 turnovers while their pass rush has picked up 37 sacks. This is a team full of playmakers on that side of the ball that cannot be slowed. Beware.
Texans Hope To Get Home Win
At 7-4 and just a game ahead of Tennessee and Indianapolis, this is a big game for the Texans. This is not an easy matchup against the top defense in the game, but they possess some real offensive weapons. The running game has been much improved with Carlos Hyde leading the way, as he’s approaching 1,000 yards on the year. He and Duke Johnson have been playing pretty effectively, with Watson adding 301 yards and five scores on the season. The only issue with Houston is that it lacks a consistent second receiving threat.
The Texans have not forced too many turnovers, picking off only five passes on the year with 22 total sacks. They have found this new familiar trend where they have to finish every season without JJ Watt.
Patriots Get The Win
Sorry Houston, but you have a problem, over. The Patriots will pick up the win in primetime.
Free Play: NE -3
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