I have good news and bad news. On Sunday, the New England Patriots were able to squeak by the Miami Dolphins 31-24 after preventing a courageous comeback from Ryan Tannehill and company to move to 2-0. That is the good news. The bad? After throwing three touchdowns for 274 yards starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had to leave the game in the second quarter after a hit from Kiko Alonso. The news got worse as Patriots fans came to find out he had a strained AC joint in his shoulder and may be out for six weeks. Now, there is hope that Garappolo could play tonight versus the Houston Texans, but according to Bill Belichick, he is not a doctor and does not make those decisions. On Tuesday, Belichick said during his weekly press conference  “I’m a football coach, I’m not a doctor. The medical staff is the medical staff. I coach the team. The medical people handle the injuries. They don’t call plays. I don’t do surgery. We have a great deal there. Works out good.”
Based on Belichick’s comments, and the fact that Jimmy Garoppolo did not throw until Wednesday, expect rookie Jacoby Brissett to be under center tonight. Brissett got a real taste of the NFL on Sunday when he completed six of nine passes for 92 yards. The team has shown support for the rookie. Julian Edelman mentioned after the game that Brissett played well.  “He’s a baby. It’s just funny to see him in the huddle and stuff. I’m proud of him. Handled it real well.” Brissett, who played at North Carolina State and was drafted in the third round, will have a tough test tonight. Regardless of the adversity that has already been thrown in Patriots faces unfamiliar at the quarterback position, Belichick believes in Brissett. “Jacoby’s done a good job for us.” “He’s improved every day. He’s a hard-working kid. He’s in here early, stays late, studies the game. He’s got good physical talent. He’s improved steadily since he’s been here, after the draft and all the way through,” Belichick said.
The Houston Texans are no joke. They are 2-0 for the second time under former offensive coordinator for New England, Bill O’Brien. Led by Brock Osweiler who has gone 41 of 68 for a total of 499 yards and three touchdowns in the first two games, the Texans look to attack the Patriots through the air. Star wideout DeAndre Hopkins has a couple touchdowns to his credit for just shy of 200-yards receiving. Expect Malcolm Butler to contain Hopkins. The biggest threat to the Patriots in this one is the Texans’ defense.
Ranked third in points per game, the bulls are on parade in Texas. They’re ranked first in efficiency as well as sacks with nine through two games. With Brissett as the opposer, it almost seems inevitable for the Texans to come up big defensively in this one. Houston is making a case to have a defense as good as the Denver Broncos. Brissett being mobile could create options for the offense, but it will come down to how strong the crippled offensive line is for the Patriots.
This will be one of those chess matches that makes you scratch your head. Defense will prove perennial for both teams, special teams will make an impact, but talent alone may prove the difference. The favorite? New England. Even going in as one point underdogs, Belichick and his staff continue to find a way. The Patriots are also 3-0 against the Texans when playing at home.  Even if Edelman is behind center, the Patriots can come out victorious. Get ready for the new rush uniforms the Patriots will be wearing tonight and prepare for another close game.
FINAL SCORE:
New England 27 Houston 24

Executive Editor