- Extend drives. The dreaded 3 and out is always something to avoid. Last year the Patriots had 4 of them against Houston. While the team is usually one of the best with converting first downs, they seem to get their share of 3 and outs.
- Protect Brady- Did you hear that JJ Watt has never sacked Tom Brady? While that is true, it is also true that the Texans got to Brady 5 times last year. Two of those sacks belonged to Jadeveon Clowny. Clowny’s biggest play of the game was when he ran back a Whitney Mercilus strip sack for a touchdown.
- Earn Brady’s Trust- Know your role. Do your job. Expect the ball. Too often new players look good in the preseason and then can’t get on the same page with TB12 during the regular season.
- Tackle- Early in the season teams always struggle with tackling. They take bad angles. They try to be a hero and overrun their target. This season they may get called for lowering their helmet or get caught up in trying to avoid a whistle. Whatever the reason, missed tackles are unacceptable. Although Malcolm Butler didn’t impress me last season with defending the pass, he was always a sure tackler. He was also always involved in the play even if the ball was not thrown his way.
The day has finally arrived for real New England Patriots football. The fans are champing at the bit, finalizing their game day snacks and beverages. Mother Nature has dropped the temperature 40 degrees as a way of telling the Texans who her team is. Route 1 is filling up with vehicles adorned with current and retro Patriot logos. All of Patriot Nation is ready for kickoff, but are the Patriots?
Although the Patriots are 9-1 against the Texans, they haven’t exactly dominated them. Last year they squeaked by with a 36-33 home win on a Brandon Cooks toe-tapper with 23 seconds to go. In order for the Patriots get their 10th win against Houston, they will need to do the following.
Fun Facts- If the Patriots win, Belichick will overtake Tom Landry for 3rd with most wins by a head coach. If Brady hits 3 new guys with touchdown passes this season he will surpass Testaverde for most touchdown targets with 71.
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