Published: Sat, September 23, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Texans vs Patriots: Game Pick - Deshaun Watson faces Tom Brady

Texans vs Patriots: Game Pick - Deshaun Watson faces Tom Brady

He absolutely has to stick with Watson, who was the difference in the team's win on the road on Thursday night in Week 2.

In that sense, Watson is somewhat similar to the first rookie quarterback to ever beat a Belichick-coached Patriots team - the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger, in 2004. He needs 15 to touches in this game if the Texans are going to win. In his second game, against the Cincinnati Bengals, he added 125 yards, but he had neither a TD nor an INT. On the defense, the Texans allow 19.0 points and 287.5 total yards. He threw for 447 yards and three TDs last week and now has 52 career games with at least three TDs and no INTs, the most in National Football League history.

Belichick pointed out that O'Brien didn't take over a winning operation in Houston on the heels of the team firing Gary Kubiak.

The Patriots injury report has no shortage of players this week, specifically on the offensive side. Rob Gronkowski scored a touchdown, but he also went down with an injury.

Texans vs Patriots: Game Pick - Deshaun Watson faces Tom Brady
Texans vs Patriots: Game Pick - Deshaun Watson faces Tom Brady

Tom Brady and the Julian Edelman-less New England Patriots offense passed one test last week. This situation is one worth monitoring. And Watson will have to figure out a way to minimize his mistakes.

Mercilus, who earned All-Pro recognition for the first time in his career last season (second team), is a player on the rise, according to Belichick.

Hopkins said that he and Watson are making up for lost time. Those rookies all started the game at home. The Texans' run game hasn't kept anyone honest yet this season and won't do so against New England.

The Texans will try to emphasize their running game, led by Lamar Miller, to keep the Patriots from going after Watson.

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-Patriots QB Tom Brady vs. Texans secondary. Brady unleashed on a vulnerable Saints defense Sunday, throwing for 447 yards and three TDs on his way to AFC Offensive Player of the Week.

The Texans will need some Dehsaun Watson moments like this one from the preseason, if they are going to pull off the upset. He's calm. He's got a really good demeanor about him. Watt missed all but three games last year following back surgery and was severely hampered in Houston's Week 3 loss at Foxborough, his final game of the year. New England, he has 24 tackles and a sack. The one person who remains unharmed is WR Brandin Cooks.

The Texans may be missing their two starting cornerbacks Sunday. With Cooks always threating to make a big play, look for him to have some big moments as Brady gets him heavily involved in the passing attack. "They're good. Blocking them is a lot harder than finding them".

The other rookie quarterbacks in the win column are the Jets' Mark Sanchez (2009), the Browns' Colt McCoy (2010), the Seahawks' Russell Wilson (2012) and the Jets' Geno Smith (2013). Brady completed just 18-of-38 passes in the contest. New England has covered the spread in their last three meetings with Houston and don't expect that to change this week.

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The thought of sending out a rookie quarterback to lead his team against New England can't be comforting to Texans head coach Bill O'Brien. Not especially, but as good as the Houston defense is, they certainly have my attention due to the injuries that are plaguing the Pats.

During this year's NFL Draft, the Texans traded up to the 12th overall pick to select Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson.

"It's getting better and better every day", Hopkins said. Houston won't be able to match the production of the New England offense, as the Patriots move to 2-1 without much stress.

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