NFL Opener: Houston Texans at New England Patriots

This matchup has been a regular occurrence over the past several seasons, with the Patriots usually tending to come out on top. This time could be different, as they are lacking depth at the WR spot and have a lot of new players to implement.

On the other side, all eyes are on Deshaun Watson, who looked like an MVP before tearing his ACL, as he finally makes his long-anticipated return. JJ Watt will also make his return. The Patriots are -6.5 over the Texans on Sunday.

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Houston Texans

With Will Fuller not in the lineup today, they will need a lot from DeAndre Hopkins. He is far and away their top WR with nobody even close to being as good/efficient. Lamar Miller is going to need to show that he can be a legitimate top RB, something he still has not done yet. They have a very talented offense, who they will be asking for a lot from today.

On the defensive side, JJ Watt is making his return, and the team has got to hope he can finally stay healthy. The best pass-rusher in the NFL has hardly played over the past two years. New addition Tyrann Mathieu is going to need to a big part of their defense for them to have success. The Honey Badger is a terrific player, and somebody that will have to come through major. Along with Jonathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, and Kevin Johnson, they will form quite the squad.

New England Patriots

The wide receiver position was supposed to be loaded for the Pats this year. They signed Eric Decker, traded for Jordan Matthews, and had Julian Edelman coming back. Decker retired, Matthews was cut after being hurt, and Edelman was suspended. They also released former standout Malcolm Mitchell. This leaves them with very little outside of Chris Hogan, so it will be interesting to see how the targets outside of Hogan and Gronk can perform. They added Jeremy Hill and Sony Michel at running back, to try and enhance what they’ve got.

They didn’t make too many majors changes on D, other than obviously letting Malcolm Butler walk, but they signed Jason McCourty, who can finally be united with his twin on the field. They also added Adrian Clayborn, who should be a major piece of the team’s offense. The main thing for the Pats this year will be the question asked every year: Can Tom Brady, as he continues to age, hold up and play the whole year?

Pick and Prediction

With Deshaun Watson making his return, the triumphant offense is going to go out there and absolutely light up the scoreboard. Watson will have over 300 yards and 3 TD passes in his first game in 11 months.

Lamar Miller will go for over 80 yards and another score, and Ka’imi Fairbaim will do a very good job of kicking field goals on other drives that stall out.

Sorry, Tom.

TEXANS Win on the road. Take the Houston Texans ML.

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