Will Patriots Overcome O-Line Struggles to Get a Victory in Houston?
Following the New England Patriots' tough loss versus Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, the Patriots are hoping to bounce back on the road against the Houston Texans this Sunday.
ABC6 Sports Director Nick Coit thinks the Pats are primed for a win after two straight losses.
Sunday’s game will be a rookie vs. rookie matchup at quarterback, with the Patriots' Mac Jones and Texans' Davis Mills facing off. Mills came in as Houston's third-string QB, but has risen to the starting job as Deshaun Watson remains out due to nearly two dozen pending sexual assault cases, and backup Tyrod Taylor went down with an injury. Last week was a tough game for Mills, as he threw four interceptions in the loss to Buffalo.
Coit said that hopefully Jones can build off of his performance last week. Even in the loss, Jones threw two touchdowns to the two tight ends that the Patriots spent big on during the offseason. Both Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry caught a TD in the loss, giving fans hope that the Patriots' passing offense can get rolling as the season continues.
According to Coit, the biggest hurdle that the Patriots need to overcome this weekend is the possible lack of starters on the offensive line. This week, four starters on the offensive line missed both the Wednesday and Thursday practices. Two of them missed practice due to injuries, and two of them are on the COVID-reserve list. The Patriots have already displayed issues on the o-line, with poor pass protection and lack of run offense. Coit said that this issue likely means that the offense is going to have to rely on Jones and the passing game to get a win this week.
Even with the Patriots’ offensive line questions, Coit thinks the Patriots are motivated to get it done down in Houston on Sunday, and that will lead to them walking away from the game with their second win of the season.
Additional Reporting by Sierra Fiore