The Houston Texans will take on the New England Patriots this Sunday in their Week 1 matchup. What are three things that you should be looking for? Take a look and find out what matters and watch your jaw drop.
Houston Texans @ New England Patriots
My Bookie line – Pats -6.5
Sunday, Sep. 9 at Noon on CBS
Week 1 is finally here Texans fans and there’s no better test for your football team than taking on the five-time World Champions in their house on the opening NFL Sunday. Week 3 of last season the Texans traveled to Foxboro and lost a heartbreaker in the final minute, 36-33, in Deshaun Watson’s 2nd career start. For this week, I’ll be telling you what matchups to watch for, fantasy outlook and gambling advice for this exciting Week 1 matchup.
1) Matchups to watch
Houston’s front 7 vs New England’s offensive line
2018 will be the first season that J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus will all be healthy and on the field at the same time together. This Texans’ front seven was certainly the bright spot of the preseason and they’re going up against a suspect Patriots’ offensive line. Getting pressure on Tom Brady will be a very component to winning this game, so look for Watt and company to come out guns blazing.
Houston’s Offensive Line needs to be good, not great.
It’s up for debate, but I believe one of the Texans’ weakest position groups is the offensive line, much like New England. Deshaun Watson has the unique capability of making sub-par offensive lines look better than they look, and if he can extend the play when protection collapses, it should work out in favor for Houston. Look for the Patriots to try to keep Watson in the pocket Sunday.
Houston’s secondary vs. New England’s Receivers
The other weak position group I believe for this team is the secondary, specifically the cornerbacks. Jonathan Joseph is entering his 13th season; Kevin Johnson is made of glass; and newly acquired Kayvon Webster is coming off of a torn Achilles tendon injury. As mentioned above, if Houston’s front 7 cannot get pressure on Brady, he may be able to pick apart these corners towards the sideline. Kareem Jackson and Tyrann Mathieu should hold down the middle of the field.
2) Fantasy outlook
- Brady and Rob Gronkowski are every-week starters, regardless of the matchup.
- Chris Hogan
- Danny Amendola and Brandin Cooks are gone and Julian Edelman is beginning his four-game suspension. Hogan also had two touchdowns last season in that high scoring affair.
- New England running backs Rex Burkhead and James White should be avoided this week (I dropped White and added Alfred Morris in my league), as it is a crowded backfield and it’s too early to predict their respective touches.
- Watson went off last season against this team and I think the same should happen this week.
- DeAndre Hopkins will do what he does and Will Fuller should also be in your starting lineup, as he had seven touchdowns last season in four. games played with Watson. It’s early so we’ll see how Houston uses Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue this week, so I would avoid both.
- Same for tight ends Jordan Akins and Ryan Griffin, I would not start either as it’s too early to predict production.
- Both defenses should be avoided as this game should be high scoring Kickers for both teams should be a safe bet this week as once again stated above, this game should see plenty of scoring.
3) Gambling advice
As of Thursday night, the mybookie.ag line for this game is New England -6.5 and -270 to win, and Houston is +220 to win. Personally, I think Houston at +6.5 is an absolute steal and would at least get action on that. If you think Houston will win this game outright, snag the parlay of +6.5 and +220. New England is a historically slow-starting team to begin the season and got blown out last year against the Kansas City Chiefs at their home opener in front of the big lights on a Thursday night.
If you’re the Texans and you’re not going to beat the Pats now, when exactly are you going to beat them? One can only dream that it’s the AFC Championship Game where that occurs. The over/under is 51 points and I think this game will be like last season’s with both teams in the high 20’s or low 30’s, so the over should hit easily.
These 2018 Houston Texans are flying under the radar and could be something special. A matchup against the defending AFC Champions in Week 1 is a good test to start this season.
Do you agree with my sentiments? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below.
Interested in writing for Locked on Texans? Tweet us: @LockedOnTexans, Facebook: Locked On Texans or drop us a line at [email protected]
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Houston Texans: The best free agents to target in the 2019 off season
The Houston Texans off season is here and there’s a lot of work to do to prep this team for 2019. Who are the top free agents that the team should go after? Let’s take a look at the players who would make an impact.
The Houston Texans were one of the NFL’s better success stories this season after starting the season 0-3. J.J. Watt returned as one of the league’s most dominant defensive players, while free agent signee Tyrann Mathieu was a playmaker at the safety position. Third-round pick Justin Reid was one of the league’s best rookies and a starter in the Texans’ secondary for years to come.
DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson maintained their solid connection from last year as the former was named to his second consecutive first team All-Pro. Despite being sacked a league high 62 times, Watson passed for 4,165 yards and 26 touchdowns as he led the Texans to a 11-5 record and the AFC South division title. Lamar Miller was only 27 yards from his third 1,000+ yard season, despite missing two games because of injuries.
While the offense did put up strong numbers, the offensive line was a liability throughout the season as Watson was constantly under pressure, while Miller and the rest of the Texan running backs had few running lanes. Right tackle Seantrel Henderson was signed to fix those problems but he broke his ankle in the season opener and did not play for the rest of the season. He is a free agent now and so is Kendall Lamm, the man who replaced Henderson on the offensive line.
Julie’n Davenport struggled at left tackle and Martinas Rankin has not shown enough to yet to be a contributor on the offensive line. While Jadeveon Clowney and Mathieu are both free agents who need to be brought back, improving the offensive line is the team’s biggest priority in the off season. The Texans need to address the offensive line in both free agency and the draft as the unit struggled to protect Watson.
In regard to bringing in help via free agency, Daryl Williams missed most of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury but he was a second team All-Pro in 2017 and is the top tackle available.
His value might not as high because of the shoulder injury but Williams is one of the league’s better tackles and the Texans need to get him in free agency to bolster their offensive line. Williams is a mauler that should help create running lanes for Miller, while keeping Watson upright in the pocket. If the Texans are unable to sign him, Ja’Wuan James and Roger Saffold are the next best offensive linemen available in free agency and both players should be targeted by the Texans.
An upgrade in the secondary is also needed as Shareece Wright struggled in coverage, while Kayvon Webster and Aaron Colvin battled to stay healthy. Kareem Jackson had a great year for the Texans but is another Texans’ free agent that has to be re-signed.
The Texans need to address their own free agents first as Clowney, Mathieu and Jackson were all vital parts to the team’s success in 2018.
What do you think? Feel free to comment in the section below.
Interested in writing for Locked On Texans? Tweet us: @LockedOnTexans, Facebook: Locked On Texans or drop us a line at [email protected]
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