TEX­ANS 2017 STATIS­TICS

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - NFL -

Sun­day, 1 p.m. ET, Gil­lette Sta­dium, Foxbor­ough, Mas­sachusetts

TV: CBS.

Danny Sheri­dan’s line: Pa­tri­ots by 6 ⁄2

1

Tex­ans’ keys to vic­tory

Hous­ton’s front seven has ev­ery means to be­fud­dle New Eng­land’s of­fense. The Tex­ans can use J.J. Watt and com­pany to rat­tle Tom Brady, who will be with­out WR Ju­lian Edel­man in Week 1 due to a sus­pen­sion for vi­o­lat­ing the NFL’s pol­icy on per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing drugs. On the flip side, QB De­shaun Wat­son was a night­mare for the Pa­tri­ots last sea­son. His big­play abil­i­ties with his arm and legs made the Tex­ans of­fense lethal at Gil­lette Sta­dium in 2017, when he passed for 301 yards and the team ran for 125 in a 36-33 loss.

Pa­tri­ots’ keys to vic­tory

They must find a way to get a rhythm in the short pass­ing game so Brady can get rid of the ball be­fore the Tex­ans’ pass rush­ers get pres­sure. New Eng­land might look to TE Rob Gronkowski and RB James White to jump-start an ef­fi­cient of­fen­sive ef­fort. But re­ceivers Chris Ho­gan and Phillip Dorsett also need to ex­ploit the Tex­ans’ lack of talent at cor­ner­back. On de­fense, the Pa­tri­ots need to con­tain Wat­son as a run­ner and hope their secondary holds up bet­ter than it did in a 41-33 Su­per Bowl loss to the Ea­gles.

Who wins?

The Pa­tri­ots will ex­pe­ri­ence grow­ing pains dur­ing the game. And the Tex­ans might even look like the bet­ter team. But New Eng­land has made a habit of beat­ing Bill O’Brien at home.

Pa­tri­ots, 27-24 Pass­ing

Tex­ans Opp. Rush­ing Tex­ans Opp. Scor­ing Tex­ans Opp. Att

525 501 Att. 448 1842 4.1 49 440 1747 4.0 75

TD Rsh Rec Ret 40 48 Cmp

299 321 Yds 8 14 Pos­ses­sion Avg. To­tal Net Yards Net Yards Rush­ing Avg. Per Game Net Yards Pass­ing Avg. Per Game Pos­ses­sion Avg. To­tal Net Yards Net Yards Rush­ing Avg. Per Game Net Yards Pass­ing Avg. Per Game Yds

3278 57 3799 64.1 Avg Lng TD 28 30 Tex­ans Pa­tri­ots 0 1 Cmp% 8 14 Pts 338 436 Opp. Opp. Sept. 9.. at New Eng­land.. 1 Sept. 16... at Ten­nessee... 1 Sept. 23 New York Giants 1 Sept. 30 . at In­di­anapo­lis . 1 Oct. 7 ......... Dal­las ......... 8:20 Oct. 14 ......... Buf­falo ......... 1 Oct. 21 .. at Jack­sonville .. 1 Oct. 25 ........ Miami ........ 8:20 Nov. 4 ..... at Den­ver ..... 4:05 Nov. 11 .............. BYE .............. Nov. 18 ..at Wash­ing­ton .. 1 Nov. 26... Ten­nessee ...8:15 Dec. 2 ........ Cleve­land ........ 1 Dec. 9 ...... In­di­anapo­lis ...... 1 Dec. 15... at N.Y. Jets ...TBD Dec. 23 .. at Philadel­phia .. 1 Dec. 30 ..... Jack­sonville ..... 1 Yds/ Att TD

6.2 28 7.6 30 Re­ceiv­ing

Tex­ans Opp.

Kick­ing

Tex­ans Opp. Int Lng Sack/ Lost

17 72 54/366 82.8 11 94 32/200 99.5 Rec. Yds Avg Lng TD

32/35 20/25 45/46 33/35

Tex­ans

To­tal First Downs Rush­ing

3rd Down Pct. 4th Down/Att. 4th Down Pct. Penal­ties/Yards Rtg

92 144 Opp.

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