New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans: Discussion with Toro Times

Rob Gronkowski Patriots
Rob Gronkowski (87) New England Patriots – Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

One of the benefits of being part of FanSided is the opportunity to collaborate on content pieces with other sites in the network. That is exactly what Musket Fire and Toro Times teamed-up and did this week ahead of the New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans encounter.

Listen in as Musket Fire editor Connor Fulton asks Toro Times editor Randy Gurzi questions about the Texans as we pass the time until kickoff between the Patriots and Texans tonight.

More from Musket Fire

"Musket Fire: The NFL has rolled out these color rush jerseys for Thursday Night Football games. How do you like the Texans’ all-white duds that will be on display tonight?"

Toro Times: think they’re okay, but let’s be honest here, the Texans need a change. Their uniform doesn’t feel right to me. I love the colors of the old Houston Oilers and if they had something more like this I would be happy.

"Musket Fire: Enough fashion talk… let’s get to actual football. What is the biggest weakness of the Texans’ defense you think the Patriots will exploit (or at least try to)?"

Toro Times: The Texans defense has been pretty solid to start out the season, but if there was one are of weakness it would be the safeties. Andre Hal can create turnovers and Quintin Demps can lay the lumber, but they do take risks and that may be the one spot where advantages can be found.

Houston is solid against the run and pass and despite being without Brian Cushing the middle linebacking corps is still solid as can be. This is a rather complete unit in my opinion.

Now kick coverage, that’s a different story. If New England is able to take advantage here they can flip field position often.

"Musket Fire: Speaking of defense, name one player on the Patriots’ defense who you wish was on the Texans."

Toro Times: It has to be Devin McCourty. That guy is about as solid as it comes in terms of NFL safeties. While I don’t hate the Texans safeties, pairing him with Hal would eliminate any concerns I had back there whatsoever.

"Musket Fire: Brock Osweiler threw a pair of picks to Marcus Peters in Week 2 in an up-and-down performance. Who will Osweiler target the most against a Patriots team he is familiar with going back to his Denver days?"

Toro Times: I think he will keep feeding the rookie Will Fuller. The two have a great connection and Fuller is getting deep a lot. A third-straight 100-yard game isn’t out of the question considering he can go for 50-plus at any moment. DeAndre Hopkins will get his too, but the big play ability of Fuller has been on full display so far.

"Musket Fire: Alright, final score prediction time. Who do you have winning tonight’s game and why?"

Toro Times: I was leaning Patriots after watching Houston struggle so mightily in the red zone. They also have had a hard time getting the run going so far. Then of course the interceptions are a killer.

Then watching Jimmy Garoppolo shred defense was impressive. I loved this guy coming out of Eastern Illinois and to this day have no clue why he and Derek Carr were passed up by Houston for Xavier Su’a-Filo. I mean really…two potential franchise QBs passed for a guard??? I like Osweiler, but imagine where that $17 million could have gone with one of those two?

Sorry, I will put my bitterness away for a minute and finish the answer. The injury to Garoppolo is huge. Jacoby Brissett is another intriguing prospect and New England sure is deep at the position. I just think the short week hurts him and Houston can sneak by in a close one 27-24.

Next: AFC Power Rankings: Week 3

We thank Randy for participating in this question and answer for Week 3. NFL fans of all allegiances should stop by Toro Times for expert Texans analysis.

Stay tuned on Musket Fire after the game for fresh points of analysis and rapid reaction.