This game was the definition of infuriating. Let’s address the elephant in the room first, what in the ever-loving heck happened to the defense? Reigning defensive player of the year, Stephon Gilmore and NFL interception leader JC Jackson were burned the entire game by little known tight end Jordan Akins and Will Fuller and Brandon Cooks, who were wide open more often than not. The Patriots defense couldn’t get a lick of pressure on Deshaun Watson and when they managed to grab him, Watson would break free and scramble for a first down.
With this extra time, the play would break down and a Texans receiver would inevitably get open and the defensive backfield had to continually take the fall for the front seven’s awful play. Then there was the offense, the Texans had the league’s worst rushing defense, yet they managed to stuff New England’s running game over and over again. The Pats were bullied and picked apart in the first half, the score was 21-10, Texans, going into the second half and the Patriots put themselves in a hole they couldn’t get out of. They could’ve held the Texans scoreless in the second half and still would’ve lost 21-20. Anybody with a working brain could tell that the first half was an absolute disaster and New England never recovered. Also, the officiating in the first half was some of the worst I’ve seen so far this season, 1 uncalled roughing the passer, 5 uncalled holds on the Texans, 2 obvious penalties walked back, and a blocker targeting JC Jackson’s legs in the second half, causing a big play, went uncalled.
On top of that, the Patriots lost the versatile running back, Rex Burkhead for the rest of the year with a torn ACL and Isaiah Wynn was injured as well, but it is unknown how long he’ll be out for, or if he is out at all. While the second half was better overall, the Patriots collapsed on a potential game saving drive yet again and were held in check by a poor Texans defense. The worst part was that is was a winnable game but poorly timed penalties (and the lack thereof on the opposition) and stupid mistakes cost them the game. The next game, the Patriots are back at home to duel with the Arizona Cardinals, as the Pats look to pull off a major upset against one of the league’s hottest teams… it’s not impossible.