New England Patriots will be trying to win their third consecutive game when they make the trip to Houston Texans this Sunday. The Patriots will be attempting to level their 2020 season record up to 5-5, while the struggling Texans need a win to get back on track after two successive defeats. The Patriots have looked impressive in their last two outings and the Texans, who have a 2-7 record so far, will have their work cut out as the only team they have managed to beat in 2020 is the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Can the Patriots Rush to Victory?
The Patriots are beginning to look like possible contenders for a play-off place now, after back-to-back victories over Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets. Quarterback Cam Newton has not thrown an interception in three games, and his form will be key to the outcome on Sunday, especially given the Texans’ defensive weakness against the pass. The Texans have given up an average of 7.35 yards per pass this season, ranking them right down at 26th in the NFL. They have intercepted opposition QBs just twice all season. Not that the Patriots are likely to be chucking the ball over the NRG Stadium – Newton’s short passing game using Rex Burkhead and Jakobi Myers has been what has brought success.
The Patriots’ main focus on offense this season has been their running game. Their physical offensive line has been punching holes for the likes of Damien Harris, who managed his third 100-yard game of the season against the Ravens. The Patriots are the third-ranked team in the NFL for rushing and Harris has been a big part of that success. Finding a way to stop him will be vital for the Texans’ chances of success.
The Texans’ own rushing game on offense is not great, but the Patriots’ defense has not been especially successful when it comes to defending n this area either. Houston is missing David Johnson, and Duke Johnson has had to step up to provide a running threat when he is more used to being used a pass option. He averages just over three yards per carry in 2020. The Texans rank 31st in the NFL for rushing, averaging just 87.9 yards per game on the ground.
Our Pick: Patriots to win
Our tip comes from 888Sport, who are offering a price of +650 on the Patriots winning by 13-18 points. Momentum is currently with the men from New England and we think that they will just have far too much on offense for the Texans to cope with. Houston is a team that has struggled to win games all season, and we don’t see that changing this Sunday. We suspect that the Patriots will show that they are turning into contenders for a play-off place. Should they reach the play-offs, we have a sneaking suspicion that they will do well there too.
Our pick: Patriots to win by 13-18 @ +650 with 888Sport