BOSTON (CBS) — The Pats remain undefeated on the season and this win against the Texans was a most dominating performance. New England made this game look easy and in the process, they showed they can do more with less. Here are your gold stars and penalty flags.
The Gold Stars:
The Pats special teams unit deserves a gold star. First lets start with Ryan Allen. The booming directional punts that pinned the Texans inside the 20 on every occasion is one of the reasons after the game, there was a crowd by his locker. He averaged over 49 yards per punt and in a game where the Pats played field position. Ryan Allen got the job done. Then the Pats kick coverage team is the best in the game. New England puts their best athletes on the coverage team. So when teams are deeming this unit not important, the Patriots are pushing the envelope. That’s why they are kicking it short and going after the returners. Against Houston, they were rewarded with 2 fumble recoveries. I get the feeling that once other teams watch the tape of this game, coaches will place a bigger importance on their coverage units.
Legarrette Blount deserves a gold star. The big man was rolling once again. 24 carries for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns, The Pats needed to keep the ball on the ground and eat up the clock. That was the plan and Legarrette’s part of the plan was executed. I never thought I would see Blount turn the corner like he’s been doing but he’s doing that more and more.
Jamie Collins and Jabaal Sheard get gold stars. Sheard spent most of Thursday’s game in the Texans backfield. 2 sacks for Jabaal and multiple pressures on the game. Every time he makes a play, I think how could the Browns have let him go. Then we have Jamie Collins. He was simply striking fear into the Houston Texans offense. Collins was all over the field. 8 tackles on the stat sheet and an interception, but his game was much more than that. Collins was the best player on the field for most of Thursday. If this continues, he is going to be have to be considered as one of the defensive player of the year candidates.
The Penalty Flags:
Cyrus Jones gets a penalty flag. What is it going to take for Jones to cleanly handle punts?? Every time he’s back there, its an adventure. Bill Belichick must like him because no matter how shaky he appears, coach keeps sending him back out here. Jones has all the tools to break off a return and take it to the house. He just has to hold on to the ball.
The Texans get a penalty flag. This was supposed to be a good game, instead this was a mess. It took Houston forever to get past midfield. Brock Osweiler was so confused by the Pats mach up zone, he kept checking to running plays on 3rd and long. They have a hall of fame type receiver in DeAndre Hopkins and they scored no points. Also, where was J.J. Watt? The 2 time defensive player of the year was a whisper on Thursday. He is a flat out no show when he plays the Patriots. The Houston Texans always get the pub but when they step on the big stage, they fall flat on their face. I expected better from O’Brien and his team but they had nothing for the Pats.