BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots return to Gillette Stadium to host the Houston Texans on Sunday, looking to build off of their Week 2 win over the Saints in New Orleans.
Both teams enter their Week 3 tilt at 1-1 on the season, and are pretty familiar with each other after squaring off six times over the last five seasons, not to mention their joint practices and preseason game just over a month ago.
Here’s how the CBS Boston sports team sees Sunday’s game playing out:
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV Sports
If there are two teams that know each other, it’s the Patriots and Texans. It seems like half of Bill O’Brien’s staff are former Patriots.
That said, the Patriots should still carve up these Texans.
Patriots 31, Texans 17
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports
The Patriots are banged up but on the mend. The offensive line is a concern with Marcus Cannon dealing with a concussion. However, Brady and Pats will be ready to play.
The Pats defense will need to stay disciplined against rookie DeShaun Watson. These two teams know each other quite well from last season, joint practices, the preseason and all the former Patriots on the Houston staff, so this is not going to be an easy game for New England.
Patriots 28, Texans 14
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports
This happens to be one of those games that the Pats can use as a springboard. The Texans have a great defense, but with a young quarterback running the offense, they are going to have to play a little loose. The Pats can use that to their advantage.
Tale Of The Tape: Patriots vs. Texans
Keeping Deshaun Watson in the pocket and making him throw will be the key. Bill Belichick is 8-0 against rookie quarterbacks at Gillette and I only expect that to improve. This game won’t be pretty but the Pats will over come the defensive struggle that Houston will cause them and they will be better for it in the long run.
Patriots 24, Texans 10
Adam Kaufman, 98.5 The Sports Hub/WBZ NewsRadio 1030
The Patriots are massive 14-point favorites against the Texans, a team they’ll see for the fourth time in the last calendar year.
Obviously the Pats have injury concerns, but the Texans are banged up on defense and shaky in the secondary. And it’s encouraging to know Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola may play, if even in a slightly limited capacity. Plus, Brandin Cooks is eager to make a statement after a somewhat underwhelming start to his New England career.
Similarly, Malcolm Butler’s motivated to silence his critics opposite a struggling offense that’s totaled just 20 points through two games.
If you’re into stats, rookie QB’s are 0-8 against Bill Belichick teams in Foxborough. Doesn’t bode well for reigning NCAA champ Deshaun Watson, who’s more fleet of foot than fancy with his arm.
This all boils down to one simple fact: the Texans aren’t talented enough to score as many points as the Patriots.
Patriots 31, Texans 13
Mike “Sarge” Riley, 98.5 The Sports Hub/WBZ NewsRadio 1030
The Patriots are 8-1 all time against the Houston Texans, and Bill Belichick has had his way against rookie quarterbacks (Watson) in Foxboro (8-0). With the question marks for Tom Brady’s weapons being available (Gronk, Hogan, Dorsett, Burkhead), I think the Pats will be just fine as Brady picks up where he left off against the Saints’ throwing to nine different players. Yes, this is the game we see a Brandin Cooks breakout finding the endzone more than once.
Patriots 29, Texans 18
Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Texans game on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV — the flagship stations of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins on 98.5FM at 10am with Patriots Preview, and on WBZ-TV at 11:30am with Patriots GameDay. After the game, tune in to three hours of postgame coverage on the Sports Hub and catch Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s press conference’s live on Patriots 5th Quarter on myTV38!