Game Rewind: The Patriots got off to a slow start and fell behind early en route to a 28-22 loss to the Texans. The defense, which has been the backbone of this team all season long struggled to stop the Texans dynamic offense and the Patriots offense once again struggled to get any traction early on.
Here are five thoughts on the loss.
1. Defense struggled: The Patriots defense struggled in this game. They couldn’t get off the field on third down and Houston consistently beat them in man coverage. The lack of a dominant pass rusher really showed in this game. The Patriots couldn’t consistently get pressure on Deshaun Watson and affect him.
2. Brady and his were not on the same page: Tom Brady and his receiving corp were once again not on the same page. Both Mohamed Sanu and Phillip Dorsett played but struggled to get open. Brady was visibly frustrated in the first half and he showed his frustration throughout the game. It has been a long season for Brady and some of his frustration boiled over in this game.
3. Offensive line woes continue: The offensive line continued to struggle as the Texans sacked Tom Brady three times. Pass protection continues to be an issue. Teams are consistently get edge pressure. Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia must find a way to fix this otherwise the Patriots passing game will struggle to get on track.
4. Going through the motions: I don’t know if it was because so many guys were sick or what but the Patriots were definitely going through the motions early on in this game. They got off to a slow start and it cost them the game in many ways.
5. The apprentice out coached the master: Bill O’Brien and his staff out coached Bill Belichick and his staff. Plain and simple. The Patriots had no answer for some of the things the Texans were doing on both sides of the ball. The DeAndre Hopkins to Deshaun Watson option play is proof the Patriots coaching staff was out coached in this game.