New England Patriots must harass Brock Osweiler in Week 3

Chris Long Patriots
Chris Long (95) New England Patriots – Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports /

In order to escape with a victory in Week 3, it is paramount that the New England Patriots harass Brock Osweiler early and often on Thursday night.

If the Patriots’ pass rushers get to Houston Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler on a consistent basis tomorrow night, nothing but good things will come. In fact, the only way that the Patriots are going to beat the 2-0 Texans is via the pass rush.

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Look, the pass rush needs to pick up their game a bit. Not only did the front seven fail to register a sack of Ryan Tannehill in Week 2, but they also were virtually invisible in the second half. Tannehill had all day to throw just about every time he stepped back to pass, and the Patriots’ secondary paid the price of Tannehill’s leisure in the pocket. That simply cannot happen against the Texans.

For the Patriots to emerge victorious with Jacoby Brissett at the helm, they absolutely must win the turnover battle. While the Patriots’ defense can’t help what Brissett does on the other side of the ball, what they can do is ensure that Osweiler turns the ball over multiple times.

Whether that means strip-sacking the former Denver Broncos quarterback or having the secondary step up and pick off a few passes, it doesn’t matter: the defense must steal the ball away at least two or three times.

Mark these words: if the Patriots’ defense forces three turnovers, Brissett will be victorious in his first NFL start. Three turnovers would mean that the Texans will have been stopped in their tracks on a substantial number of their drives; it would also mean that Brissett will have that many more chances to experiment with running the Patriots’ offense.

Let’s look at this another way. If the Patriots’ defense fails to dupe Osweiler into throwing a few interceptions, or fails to knock the ball loose from Osweiler or Texans ball carriers, the Patriots will almost certainly lose the turnover battle. You have to expect that Brissett will cough the ball up in some capacity at least twice in his first start; he already committed one turnover in the second half this past Sunday.

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The least the defense can do is assist the offense a bit by taking more risks blitzing Osweiler, which will hopefully lead to either loose balls in the backfield or interceptions in the air. Brissett is going to need all the help he can get from every source possible.