NFL Thursday Night Betting Preview: Houston vs. New England

September 21, 2016 •

Two teams that have their first game to lose will face off tomorrow night in an early-season AFC match-up between the Texans and the Patriots. Watching two undefeated teams is always exciting, because one of these two division leaders will have to walk away with a black role on their record. Yes, it’s only be Week 3, but this game could end up being really important later on in the season, since sure there will be close races for the playoffs.

This week’s version of the NFL’s Thursday Night Football, Houston will visit the North-East want to take on and break the New England Patriots, and despite what experts think, it won’t be like what fans expected in the preseason. Two quarterbacks will face off against each other for the first-time ever. The Pats won’t have Tom Brady for tomorrow’s and next week’s game, and they might not even have Jimmy Garoppolo either who could be out with injury.

Brady is of course still serving his four-game suspension to start the season. The Patriots have put in Garoppolo who’s gotten them two wins already, and so they’ll be hoping that he can play through the pain of his shoulder injury. But it’s too much to bear, rookie Jacoby Brissett will have to start in his place. And that means anything can happen.

“This is kind of great for the New England Patriots and their coaching staff,” said famous sports reporter Boomer Esiason. “Yet again, another challenge playing with the back-up to the back-up quarterback in Jacoby Brissett.”

Something to note is that the Pats dominated the Miami Dolphins last Sunday before Garoppolo got injured and many were surprised that he did so well to take over from the infamous Brady. In that game though, once Brissett took over from the injured backup QB, the Pats offense started to struggle, and the defense behagn giving up a lot of points, fast. Luckily, New England was able to pull out a one-touchdown win, but everyone saw how a change in quarterback affected the whole team, and not in a good way.

That’s the scenario that the Texans want for Thursday night, as they will fight hard to remain undefeated in the AFC. The Texans are playing really well, but they’re also meeting up against the Patriots at just the right time while they are hot. So this match up will be eventful if not explosive.

“It’s not about who you play, but when you play them,” said ESPN analyst, Bart Scott. “I think Houston has being playing great defensively and now, they’re starting to get their groove offensively.”

The Patriots are pretty healthy, but without Brady they’re obviously not the same team, and with Garoppolo sidelined, literally anything can happen. The Texans really can’t ask for anything more than a rookie quarterback getting his first NFL start on the big stage at home. In that situation, Bill Belichick will try hard to protect Brissett. But Houston’s J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney may just focus all their energy on the rookie quarterback, pressuring him into making mistakes and sacking him time and again.

This Texans defense, who has a healthy lineup, is clicking. As a quarterback, Brock Osweiler looks comfortable in his place in Houston’s offense, so fans can expect the team to get dangerous on the fast side of the ball too.

Even if Garoppolo plays, obviously he won’t be at 100 percent either, so that could be dangerous when facing off with the Texans defense, and it’s just what Houston would want; a shakey QB. The Patriots can also, only lean on LeGarrette Blount’s legs so much before Houston starts figuring out their plays.

But the Patriots do get to return home to Gillette Stadium, but this is not the same squad as last year’s, or even last Sunday’s team. A win is possible, but the quarterback change will obviously affect the Pats on both sides of the ball, and it’s doubtful that they will be able to push their luck to three, no matter how much charm they have.

Our Pick: Texans over Patriots, 21-14