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New England Should Not Overlook Texans

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Defensive end J.J. Watt could be a problem for the New England Patriots' offense. Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images.
Defensive end J.J. Watt could be a problem for the New England Patriots' offense. Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images.

After a comeback win against a conference rival, it would be easy for the Patriots to let down, even more so when their Sunday opponents are the Houston Texans, a team that started 2-0 but lost nine straight since. The Texans have a lot of issues, but defense, as bad as the team’s record is, is not one of them. The Texans defense is among the best of the league, notably due to the strong play of defensive lineman J.J. Watt. 

In the past, Tom Brady has had success against top defenses. It seems like No.12, and coach Belichick for that matter, rise up when facing a strong opponent. Houston is ranked first in overall defense in the league. They allow an average of 290 total yards per game and sixteen first downs per game. The Texans’ defense is also stout on third downs, letting opponents convert 36% of the time. The strength of the unit is versus the pass, where cornerbacks Jonathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson and strong safety D.J. Swearinger and free safety Shiloh Keo limit opposing passing offenses to 171.8 yards.

The presence of all star defensive end J.J. Watt certainly helps the defense. NFL fans maybe hear less about Watt than last year, but that is not due to poor play for the defensive end out of Wisconsin, but rather poor play from a team that was considered as a title contender in pre season. Watt has 56 tackles and 9.5 sacks thus far. The defensive end has deflected four passes, which is twelve less than his total from last year.

New England just got out of a tough game against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, but don’t expect a letdown, as a team with Brady and Belichick as its top leaders will certainly not look down on any opponent. In the past, the Patriots have done well in teams that are ranked highly in offense or defense. 

The lack of offense for Houston will make it even harder for the Texans to hold off the Patriots, as New England will probably not be worried about Case Keenum and the offense. Andre Johnson is still a threat, but he has been inconsistent. The receiver out of the University of Miami admitted recently that his team flat out ‟sucked”. 

It is always dangerous to underestimate a team in the NFL, but this is a mistake that the New England Patriots doesn’t make often. Houston’s defense might be a challenge for the Pats’ offense, but Houston’s lack of offense will enable New England to get out of the Lone Star State with a win.