Hellooooooooo and welcome back! It's my weekly predictions post filled with lukewarm takes about a team led by a smoking hot quarterback. Some people like a good surprise. I don't. If you want to watch the game with no stress then read on because my takes are always right, so buckle up buckaroo.
Another year older. My goals no closer to being achieved. The house needs work. The wife needs a car. I've got less hair on my head and more hair on my ass. I find myself thinking, when will things be different?? And then I see #12 starting at quarterback for the New England Patriots and I realize I hope I'm stuck in this loop for all of eternity.
The Patriots kick off their Super Bowl Defense Revenge* Tour 2018 at home in Gillette Stadium against the Houston Texans. We played the Texans in the yoffs two ago, which I think is messing with my brain, because when I saw they were 4-12 last year I gasped. I lit-trally gasped. DeShaun Watson was a beast. They gave us a fight for our very lives in Week 3. How did they suck so badly? The wheels fell off when Watson tore his ACL, but I'm not sure that justifies the free fall. They're better than 4-12. They know that. We know that.
The Pats come into this game on the heels of the weirdest offseason of the Brady era. Players threatening to quit. Everyone hates the coach. The only thing that's stayed consistent is all our draft picks are DEAD before the season starts. The defense hopes to be better rushing the passer and needs to find a way to fill the hole left by Malcolm Butler. The offense will try to stay near the top of the league despite that the fact that our wide receivers are Chris Hogan, Flip Dorsett, and my mother.
Opening the season with a healthy Texans team and the Jags has a lot of fans out here thinking we are destined for an 0-2 start. Especially since the Pats start so slowly, right? Right??? Or wait, Tom Brady has the best winning percentage on opening weekend in the Super Bowl era? In the last ten years the Pats are 24-9 in September, best in the league?? And lets not forget about the opponent, who the Pats have OWNED.
The Pats have played the Texans 10 times since they became a team. We are 9-1. That's 7-1 in the regular season and 2-0 in the post season. Not to mention we're 6-0 at home.
I didn't pick the Pats to lose a single game last year. I thought today might be the day that changed. I think the Texans are goigng to be good this year. Certainly better than they were last year. But can we pump breaks a little bit? DeShaun is coming off a horrible knee injury that always sees players back on the field in a year but not necessarily at their best in a year. Plus there is plenty of game tape on this guy now. And that scary defensive line the Texans boast has never slowed Tom Brady down before. Why should it now. I've played sober rounds of golf as many times as JJ Watt has sacked Tom Brady. ZERO. But the Texans have to beat the Patriots some day, don't they? Yea, maybe.
People are a little too high on the Texans and a little too low on the Pats for my liking. And I think the Pats locker room knows it. That only spells one thing.
Prediction: Golden boy DeShaun Watson throws two, count em, two picks against the Pats secondary. I gotta admit I was SHOOK about the Duke Dawson injury. I desperately wanted the Pats to draft two guys this year and I got them both. Dawson was one of them. The other was Berrios. (From? THE U) Sadly they are both on IR. Berrios I borderline expected. He needed a red-shirt year anyway. But Dawson was a week 1 starter in my book. With J-Mac unfortunately sucking and Eric Rowe unfortunately still being Eric Rowe, you could argue we have a glaring hole at corner back. But I'm excited about some of the kids. Jonathan Jones and JC Jackson are ball hawks. Gilmore looks like a legit CB1. Watson may make me eat these words in a big way, but I don't think he's the king everyone has already crowned him to be. At least not yet. I fear his feet much more than his arm. So throw me two picks and lets see if we can't just take one to the house.
Prediction: The Patriots leading receiver in receptions is......REX BURKHEAD. Didn't see that one coming did ya? Gronk will be heavily involved in the game plan. And I see him hauling in a tuddy to start the campaign off right. But the Texans are going to make him work for it. Hoags will do his thing because Brady trusts him. And James 'Wiggle' White is going to be a monster on third down like he always is. But my confidence levels in Flip or Patterson (lololololol) to do anything in the passing game is nonexistent. I think Sexy Rexy is going to line up in the slot most of the game. Sometimes he will start there and sometimes he will motion there out of the backfield to keep the defense honest. But he's a matchup nightmare for the Texan linebackers. And they wont be able to bring a safety down to help (at least on early downs when they aren't in dime packages) because they will be covering Hoags and Gronk over the top. Look for Rex to have 7+ grabs and lead the way.
Prediction: Stephon Gilmore EATS DeAndre Hopkins. Listen, I'm very high on NUKE this year. I think he's going to be an absolute stud and the second best fantasy wide out in the league behind AB. Could be the best if the Steelers go into a tailspin since they all hate each other now. The last five times Hopkins has played us he's gone 7 for 76, 6 for 65, 4 for 56, 3 for 52, 2 for 77. In each of those games he's been the team's leading receiver, expect the 2013 game where he went 2 for 77. He was a rookie and Andre Johnson took a shit on us to the tune of 8 for 122. (In a loss, duh) Nuke has never scored a tuddy against the Pats, but his production has steadily increased. I don't thiiiiink Gilmore will shadow him, though he might, but either way he's going to see a lot of him. Let's say for me to be right I need two things. One, Nuke isn't the team's leading pass catcher, and two, he finishes with less than 5 grabs and under 50 yards.
Prediction: Like I said up top, there was a part of me that thought about picking the Pats to lose on Sunday. But we lost opening day last year. That was so 2017. This is the 2018 version and we've got some unfinished business. The mutant sixth finger on my left hand is feeling very naked at the moment. I told him to wait til February. Get on the wall now, because this year I don't have the patience for people who join the watch late. Patriots 27, Texans 20