The Patriots, 10-2, will travel to the 6-6 Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football in just a few short days.
The Patriots are coming off of back-to-back last second and heartbreaking losses, while the Texans are coming off a loss to the Bills, where their defense wasn’t at its best.
Both teams need a win on Sunday Night, for the Patriots, here are the keys to victory as CBS likes to say I believe.
1. Protect Tom Brady: Of course, this is a key, it’s a very big key to the Pats success on offense. Tom Brady needs time to throw the football, especially without speedy Edelman and Gronk. I’m not sure Gronk will play, but Brady needs extra time without his two main targets, something the OL struggles with. They will play the best pass rusher in the league with a blitz happy defense and very good pass rushing linebackers, so they need to bring their A game.
2. Prevent the Big Plays: Let’s be real, if you contain Hopkins and the big plays, the Texans offense struggles to move the football. The Pats need to take Hopkins away and force Brian Hoyer to go to read and option number two. They have to take away the big plays as well, make the Texans drive 80 yards dinking and dunking and be mistake free to score.
3. Stop The Run: I put this on here because the Texans will try to run with Blue and if that doesn’t work they will throw to him, and without Hightower this becomes a tall task. Hightower means a lot, that is obvious, but if he can’t play, the run defense better dig deep and find some guts and force Houston to the air. They do that, you gotta like the Patriots chances.