Texans, O’Brien still don’t have what it takes to beat Pats
Welcome this Sunday night to the Nick Caserio Bowl.
Had Caserio and Texans coach Bill O’Brien had their way, Caserio currently would be the general manager of the Houston Texans, whom New England visits Sunday night.
But even if Caserio bolts the Patriots when his contract expires following the 2020 NFL Draft, it’s not going to help his buddy O’Brien master Bill Belichick. It’s just not destined to happen.
“Every year is different,” O’Brien said this week when asked about his futility against Belichick and the Patriots. You know, obviously we’ve struggled against the Patriots in past years, but this is a different year.”
Now, he’s not making a bold prediction here, but can’t you envision, with the Patriots penchant for takeaways and hardly any giveaways, Deshaun Watson tossing a few New England’s way?
“Every year’s different,” O’Brien went on to say. “Our team’s different, there team’s a little bit different, and we just have to go out there on Sunday night and we’ve got to play a clean game.
We’ve got to play hard , we’ve got to be competitive for 60 minutes and see what happens.”
Here’s what we think will happen with this game and six others this weekend while we feast in seclusion on turkey leftovers:
PATRIOTS 17, TEXANS 13
We really, really wanted to pick the upset. But let’s face it, the Patriots likely won’t lose at Gillette this year, and this is their last road game of any consequence. New England’s defense should be able to contain Watson, otherwise known as Lamar Jackson Light. Remember, he was the bomb before he hurt his knee. Stephon Gilmore vs. Deandre Hopkins. Money is on Gilmore, who has to be in the head of every opposing team’s No. 1 receiver preparing to face him.
COLTS 28, TITANS 24
The Ryan Tannehill bubble finally bursts. The Texans look like they made the right move, but Indy, which has lost some tough ones lately, and Jacoby Brissett come out on top at home in a fight for faint playoff survival.
CHIEFS 33, RAIDERS 27
What the heck happened to the Raidahs last week? We picked them to lose, but not in a blowout. And now they fall back to earth even further as Pat Mahomes certainly can outduel Derek Carr, especially in chilly Kansas City. Chiefs defense may hold them back from being a Super Bowl contender, but they should be able to beat the Raiders at home.
SEAHAWKS 23, VIKINGS 20
You know, we love what Minnesota has done of late. But the Seahawks seem to be on one of those streaks, having won four straight. Seattle’s defense isn’t great, but we’re guessing home field and the loud fans there will make up for that on Monday Night, and rattle Kirk Cousins.
CARDINALS 27, RAMS 24
Upset special. To be honest, the prospects of Kyler Murray causing problems for the slumping Rams at home look a lot better than for the incredibly overpaid Jared Goff, whom the Patriots ruined. Given the Rams cap situation and lack of first round picks in the coming years, these two will flip-flop in the standings.
RAVENS 30, 49ERS 24
We hold our breath every time Lamar Jackson runs the ball, because while you hate to say it, the league’s most dynamic and fun-to-watch player seems to be a torn ACL waiting to happen. But it likely won’t happen on Sunday, in the Game of the Day, and at home the Ravens and Jackson prevail.
EAGLES 24, DOPHINS 14
The Philly offense finally comes alive, but basically because it’s going up against the Miami defense, which has allowed 31.5 points a game. But let’s not get carried away, like the Rams and Goff, the Eagles and Carson Wentz are trending in the wrong, non-playoff direction.
LAST WEEK: 6-1
Tom King may be reached at 594-1251 or email@example.com. Also, follow King on Twitter (@Telegraph_TomK).