The Patriots will travel to Houston to play the Texans inside a dome and a beautiful stadium.
The Patriots could be deadly on turf, allowing them to go very, very fast.
Here are the three matchups to watch for if the Patriots are to stop their two game slide.
1. OT Cameron Fleming Vs DE J.J. Watt:
Pretty big matchup and a pretty big deal within this game. Fleming, a really young tackle, with not much experience, is going up against the best pass rusher in the NFL, so yeah this is a matchup to watch. This is the most important matchup of the game. Of course, Watt will be moved around and the Patriots will move their offensive line around, but for the most part this may be the biggest matchup when it happens and it should happen a lot. There is a very good chance Watt will be doubled team too, probably by Jackon/Mason and Fleming, or Stork/Andrew will help. Fleming has been really good this year, much better than Cannon, so wherever he plays, keep an eye on Fleming.
2. CB Malcolm Butler Vs DeAndrew Hopkins:
The most exciting and without a doubt the most interesting matchup will be between Butler and Hopkins. The numbers and play Hopkins has put up this season with mediocre or worse Quarterbacks is very impressive. Imagine if he had Brady, Rodgers, Big Ben, or Peyton Manning throwing to him, he’d be the best wide out in the league with the best numbers. Butler has been playing like a number one cornerback, shutting down almost every team’s number one wide out, so what a challenge for him this Sunday. This will be the best wide receiver Butler has faced all season, and he’s gone toe-to-toe with some outstanding guys. Hopkins didn’t have much trouble with Revis or the Jets secondary a few weeks back, catching 5 passes on 12 targets for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns. This is Butler’s best chance to prove he’s the better number one right now. It’s his time and turn to show up the best corner in the game this Sunday.
3. WR Brandon LaFell Vs CB Johnathan Joseph:
It will be interesting to watch LaFell against any of the Texans corners considering his last performance, but I’m assuming Joseph will be tasked to cover the taller LaFell. This matchup is very interesting because all eyes will be on LaFell after his less than desirable performance against the Eagles last Sunday, where the wide out only caught 4 of the 9 passes that came his way. It was the kind of performance where not only his hands were being questioned but his effort. That is never a good thing. I’m sure he’s fired up to prove himself for the second time this season, but Joseph is pretty good so it won’t be easy, but it’s the kind of matchup where he could win big. We will see and he really needs to so Brady will have some help.