Cleat Geeks

Patriot Post: New England Defense Dominates Houston

New England Patriot fans and Fantasy Football owners alike have been waiting for Rob Gronkowski to return; however, Gronk, who is not often overshadowed, was outdone by the Patriots dominating defense.

rob-gronkowski-injury-status-fantasy-patriotsIn 2015, the Patriots hopes of a perfect season were dashed by the Brock Osweiler-led Denver Broncos in Osweiler’s third appearance (second start). With Osweiler in his third game at the helm of the 2016 Houston Texans, memories of 2015 must have entered Pats Nation’s collective thoughts.

The first quarter was a defensive struggle. The Texans first two drives ended in punts. The Patriots first two drives also ended in punts; however, their third drive had a different ending.

With Jacoby Brissett’s ability to run the ball, the Patriots offense kept the Texans defense reeling. After a 74-yard drive had been stalled after Brissett missed Gronk in the end zone, the Patriots settled for a field goal.

With 2:09 left in the first, Stephen Gostkowski nailed a 24-yard field goal to give the Patriots a 3-0 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, Charles James of the Texans fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Patriots on the Texans 22-yard line.

brissett2After a false start on the first play of the possession, Jacoby Brissett took the ball 27 yards for his first career touchdown.

After nearly 13 minutes of scoreless football, the Patriots scored 10 points in 13 seconds.

Following the touchdown, the Patriots defense continued to shine.

After the second quarter had begun and a few Texans first downs, Jamie Collins picked off an Osweiler pass intended for DeAndre Hopkins, which he returned the ball to the Texans 43-yard line.

Following the interception, the Patriots were unable to extend the lead and were forced to punt.

As the second quarter progressed, each team’s defense excelled, while each offense struggled to move the ball consistently; however, with two minutes remaining in the first half, the Texan were threatening to reach Patriots territory for the first time in the game.

On a third and two from the 50-yard line, Lamar Miller was stuffed by the Patriots defense, which forced yet another punt, which left Brissett and the Patriots with 77 seconds until halftime.

The Patriots ran three plays and gained 17 yards but ultimately took a knee and sent the game to halftime with New England up by 10.
At halftime, Jacoby Brissett was five for eight passing for 53 yards, and he was the team’s leading rusher with five carries for 41 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots defense had forced two Texans turnovers and sacked Osweiler once for an 11-yard loss.

thursdaynightfootball2For the Texans, Osweiler was 10 for 16 passing for 100 yards and an interception. Lamar Miller was the team’s leading rusher with 16 carries for 49 yards. The Texans defense sacked Brissett one time for a six-yard loss.

The Patriots received the kickoff to start the second half, and they hit the ground running. The Patriots completed a 13-play, 71-yard drive which was capped off by a Gostkowski 25-yard field goal. On the drive, The Patriots ran all over the Texans defense, including LeGarette Blount’s six rushing attempts for 32 yards.

Much like the events that followed the Patriots first field goal, the Texans fumbled the kickoff. It was recovered by the Patriots at the Texans 21-yard line.

After a pass interference call in the end zone moved the ball to the one-yard line. After two failed attempts to score, the Texans once again committed a pass interference penalty in the end zone. On first down, the Patriots fourth attempt from the one-yard line, Blount punched it in. Gostkowski knocked in the extra point to give the Patriots a 20-0 lead.

After nearly 10 minutes had passed in the third quarter, the Texans offense finally took the field; however, after less than 30 seconds, the Texans were once again forced to punt.

After a three-and-out, the Patriots were forced to punt.

With 1:14 left in the third quarter, the Texans ran their first offensive play inside Patriots territory. As the quarter ended, the Texans found themselves looking at a third-and-four from the New England 36-yard line.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Jamie Collins stopped Jonathan Grimes for no gain. Down by 20 points, the Texans had no choice but to go for it on fourth down, but Malcolm Butler broke up Osweiler’s pass intended for Will Fuller.

The Patriots took over on their 36-yard line with just over 14 minutes remaining in the game.

New England’s drive lasted just 45 seconds, and after a three-and-out, they punted.

On the first play of the drive, Osweiler was sacked by Jabaal Sheard for a 10-yard loss, which put the Texans in an even deeper hole. After a personal foul on Jaelen Strong, the Texans were forced to punt once again.

The Patriots took over with the ball at the Texans 47-yard line.

On the second play of the drive, Blount took a handoff from Brissett 41 yards for a touchdown. After the Gostkowski extra point, the Patriots took a 27-point lead.

On the Texans ensuing drive, the Texans went 30 yards in seven plays; however they ultimately turned the ball over on downs, and the Patriots took over on their 45-yards line with 8:19 left in the fourth quarter.

Once again, the Patriots went three-and-out and were only able to run a small amount of time off the clock before punting the ball back to the Texans.

With 6:41 left in the game, the Texans took over at their four-yard line, and they slowly maneuvered their way up the field; however, after 11 plays and 40 yards, the Texans once again turned the ball over on downs after an incompletion on fourth-and-ten at their 44-yard line.jacobybriss

On the Patriots final offensive play, Brissett ran the ball two yards and slid down inbounds, and with 75 seconds left, the Patriots punted the ball to the Texans.

The Texans ran two more plays before letting the clock expire and ending the game.

On the night, Brissett finished 11 for 19 passing for 103 yards. LeGarrette Blount was the team’s leading rusher with 105 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. The New England Defense sacked Osweiler two times for a loss of 21 yards, they recovered two fumbles and had one interception.osweiler3

For the Texans, Osweiler went 24 for 41 passing for 196 yards and an interception. Lamar Miller was the team’s leading rusher with 84 yards on 22 carries, and DeAndre led the team with 56 yards receiving with four receptions.

As a whole, the Patriots displayed why they are one of the top teams in the NFL, and Brissett excelled in the game plan laid out by the New England coaching staff.

It was a big win for the Patriots, and it leads them into their next game in Week 4 against the Buffalo Bills, a division rival.

The Bills defense is still reeling from its embarrassing outing against the New York Jets. In the aftermath of the team’s 37-31 loss, Greg Roman was fired.

At 0-2 the Bills team is in a state of chaos. The Patriots, who have also had some chaotic circumstances through which they have had to navigate, are 3-0.

What is the difference?

brissettbelechekIn Week 4, the Patriots, no matter who starts at quarterback, will be lead by Bill Belichick. He and his coaching staff will create the perfect game plan for his to team to succeed.

The Bills, on the other hand, are led by Rex Ryan. He is not a bad coach; however, his seat is growing increasingly hotter with each loss. Additionally, the team’s defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan, has a history of coaching weak defenses.

With Gronkowski growing healthier by the minute, the Patriots are becoming even more dangerous.

In their first match-up against the Bills, the Patriots should leave victors, which means they will have traversed the Brady suspension undefeated.

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