The Houston Texans enter their game with the New England Patriots with their most talented offensive personal group since the arrival of head coach Bill O'Brien in 2014. The Texans are looking to find their first win during the O'Brien era versus the Patriots who are 0-5 during that stretch.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has taken notice of a Texans offense that has upgraded in many spots since their meeting last season in week one. A more seasoned Deshaun Watson at the quarterback position plus two new running backs and three new offensive linemen led by Laremy Tunsil have Belichick's attention.
"It's a very difficult offense to defend," Belichick said of the Texans' offense. "They have so many weapons. The Texans run the ball well. Their offensive line has improved greatly from where it was a year ago and through the course of the season. (Carlos) Hyde's a problem, (Duke) Johnson's a problem, (Deshaun) Watson's a problem because he's used some in the running game and the play-action game as well."
Where Belichick pointed to the most is the dynamic trio of receivers the Texans have in DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, and Kenny Stills. At specific points this season, each has displayed the ability to produce chunk plays for the offense.
Belichick continued, "The receivers are all explosive, big-play guys, can score from anywhere on the field. When you look at the two-minute drive – you can't call it a drive – the two-minute situation against New Orleans, they're down by six points with less than a minute to go, and they go 75 (yards) in 14 seconds. That's the kind of explosive offense that, as a coach, scares you to death."
It will be the first time during a Watson start that he will have Fuller at his disposal. The presence of Fuller will be a new factor for the Patriots to contend with this matchup.
The presence of Fuller alone with Watson produces an extra 62.5 passing yards and 1.1 passing touchdowns per game when Fuller plays than when he does not.
"That's the type of explosive offense that the Texans have, " Belichick explained. "Again, that's a big challenge for all of us."
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