The New England Patriots shocked a lot of people around the NFL Sunday when they upset the Baltimore Ravens in Foxboro. Now they face a reeling Houston Texans team that has lost three of their last four games and were anemic last week versus the Browns. The Texans beat the Pats last year 28-22 as the underdog, snapping an 8 game losing streak against New England. The Pats are favored here by 2.5 points. Can the Texans play spoiler versus New England?
Pats shock the RavensAfter the Pats nearly lost to the winless Jets in week 9, Pats fans felt pretty bad about their football team. The Pats needed a late touchdown to beat the Jets and got torched by backup quarterback Joe Flacco. Hopes were very low for their week 10 game against the mighty Baltimore Ravens, at least among fans. But on a windy, rainy night in Foxboro, the Patriots ran wild over one of the best defenses in the league and scored a 23-17 upset win.
The win improved the Patriots record to 4-5 and kept their hopes alive in the AFC playoff race. They are two games behind Miami (6-3) and Buffalo (7-3) in the AFC East. After the defense was brutalized against the horrible Jets, Bill Belichick obviously made some major corrections and adjustments as they held the Ravens to just 115 yards rushing. The Patriots ran for 173 yards, led by second year running back Damien Harris, who had a breakout game with 121 yards on the ground. Quarterback Cam Newton was an efficient 13 for 17 for 118 yards and a touchdown.
Texans anemic in lossThis has been a lost season thus far for the Texans. The season began with a lot of hope to return to the playoffs for the third straight year. But thigs went off the rails early as the Texans lost their first 4 games. Coach Bill O'Brien was fired and, other than a couple of wins over Jacksonville, the losses have continued. The Texans come into this game with a record of 2-7 and are all but eliminated from the playoffs. But the Texans have seemed to play much tougher under interim coach Romeo Crenel.
Last week the Texans showed some of that toughness, but the result was the same as they lost to the Browns by the score of 10-7. They held Baker Mayfield to only 125 yards passing, but couldn't stop the run as both Nick Chubb (126 yards) and Kareem Hunt (104 yards) had monster games. Offensively, the Texans couldn't get anything going. Deshaun Watson only threw for 163 yards and a touchdown and the running game was held to under 100 yards. Brandin Cooks led the receiving corps with 6 catches for 39 yards while Duke Johnson added 54 yards rushing.
Stats & Trends
- Patriots are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games as a road favorite of 10.5 or greater.
- Patriots are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 11.
- Patriots are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
- Texans are 1-9-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a ATS win.
- Texans are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games as an underdog.
Take the Patriots here giving up the points. The Pats have owned the Texans over the past decade and even though Tom Brady is gone, Bill Belichick is still around. The Pats have been very up and down, so the question is, which Pats team are we going to see -- the team that got run over by the Jets or the team that shut down the Ravens? I think the Pats found something last year, that they can win with an improved defense and by running the ball. Fortunately for New England, they are facing a Texans team that can't stop the run. They gave up almost 300 yards on the ground to the Browns, so Belichick will no doubt look to exploit that weakness. The Pats should run over the Texans here and get back to .500 with a win.