The Houston Texans have continued to play pretty good defense, and now do they have the “offense” to match? They seem to have added some component parts, while the New England Patriots will have to improvise with a first-time starter at quarterback on Thursday night, as they play host to Houston in a game that will begin at approximately 8:25 PM ET at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. This will be televised on CBS and NFL Network, and BetAnySports customers can watch the game and place wagers on it as it is happening through the phenomenon known as Live Betting Ultra.
Houston has won both of its games so far, beating Chicago 23-14 and Kansas City 19-12. They have gotten contributions from three offensive players who they are counting on, and who were not with them last season. Brock Osweiler, who signed as a big-money free agent after being with Denver last season, has thrown for 499 yards in two games, even though he has thrown three interceptions. Will Fuller, the rookie wide receiver out of Notre Dame, has averaged 23.4 yards per reception. And Lamar Miller, the new running back, has gained 189 yards on the ground, although he has averaged only 3.6 yards per carry.
For the Patriots, Jimmy Garoppolo, who had been filling in for the suspended Tom Brady, injured his shoulder last weekend and will not start this game. Jacoby Brissett, a rookie out of North Carolina State, will get the assignment.
In the Thursday night football betting odds posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, the game is at pick’em:
An interesting angle to this game is that the people who head up the football operation in Houston have ties to the New England organization. Bill O’Brien, the head coach, was formerly the offensive coordinator, while Romeo Crennel, the defensive coordinator, held that same position with the Patriots. So both of these teams are familiar with what the other is doing.
But no one can claim a familiarity with Brissett, at least on the NFL level. He has come in very raw, and there was obviously no intention of them to play such a key role so soon. He threw nine passes last week, which gave him something of an indoctrination. But he is only had a couple of days of practice to work with the first-team players, and we would expect that he has not have the entire playbook at his disposal.
BetAnySports patrons would know that the availability of tight end Rob Gronkowski is going to be a very key factor here. Gronkowski had to sit out the first two games of the season with an injured hamstring, but they’ll decide shortly before gametime whether he can go. If he can, the Patriots have their desired two-tight end set up with Martellus Bennett, who had 114 receiving yards last week.
In last season’s game, New England won by a score of 27-6, and the Texans were virtually nonexistent offensively, gaining only 189 yards with seven first downs. Both of these teams could be expected to go run-first in their offensive philosophy; they are tied for the NFL lead in rushing attempts with 69.
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