Patriots vs. Texans: Smack Talk with Toro Times editor Randy Gurzi

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

One of the benefits of being part of the FanSided network is the wealth of football experts we have on hand. Ahead of the showdown between the New England Patriots and Houston Texans, I had the pleasure of chatting with one of those guys, Randy Gurzi of Toro Times. Be sure to head over to Toro Times to read my answers to Randy’s questions about the Pats. Enjoy.

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Musket Fire: One of the biggest stories out of Hou­ston this week was J.J. Watt breaking hi­s hand. Do you see this injury posing a ­problem for Watt Sunday night, or will i­t only make him more intimidating and fe­arsome?

Toro Times: I don’t see how it can’t be a hindrance. I know the narrative is that Watt works harder than everyone, which is a claim I have a problem with because there’s no way a man naturally gifted at 6’5″ and 290 pounds worked harder than say a 5’6″ Darren Sproles to get to the NFL…but that’s for another day.

Look at DeMarco Murray last season in Dallas. He broke his hand and played the following game. He wasn’t as effective as he had been all year.

That being said, I expect Watt to still have an impact, but I won’t be shocked to see him play at a lower level than normal.

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MF: I think DeAndre Hopkins is the Julio ­Jones of the AFC. How do you think he wi­ll fare against Malcolm Butler, who has ­played like a top-ten cornerback this se­ason covering big names like Odell Beckh­am Jr.?

TT: Butler simply makes the big play, that’s for sure. But so does Hopkins. ODB is great, but most of his big plays come in a losing effort (I know…no one mentions that part, right?). Hopkins makes big plays that prove to be game winners, like against Cincinnati.

The Texans absolutely have to get him involved if they want to win. I expect they will try early and often. I think Butler will fare well, but Hopkins will end up on the better end. He is just simply playing out of his mind right now.

Next: Talking Wilfork, Hoyer