Outstanding coaching leads Patriots to shutout win over Texans in Week 3

Bill Belichick Patriots
Bill Belichick and Jacoby Brissett (7) of the New England Patriots. Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

Everybody and their mother was worried about Jacoby Brissett starting against the Houston Texans, but the New England Patriots prevailed in Week 3, 27-0. It was a result of outstanding coaching.

The Patriots blanked the Texans on Thursday Night Football, putting to rest any worries of a Tom Brady– and Jimmy Garoppolo-less letdown. Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia put together an outstanding game plan that thwarted every single Houston attempt at scoring a single point. Above all, good coaching was the difference for the Patriots in Week 3.

Let’s start with McDaniels. Clearly, the offensive genius put together a succinct, effective game plan for Jacoby Brissett in this game, providing enough digestible plays for the rookie to execute in his first NFL start.

Key to the Patriots’ success on offense was the strong downhill running of LeGarrette Blount, who churned out 105 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. Blount is on pace to be one of the league’s top rushers in the 2016 season; the return of offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia has been key in the veteran running back’s outburst to start the year.

On the other side of the ball, Matt Patricia devised a plan that absolutely suffocated the Houston offense. Look at the score; the Texans couldn’t even muster a field goal against the stout Patriots’ defense on Thursday Night Football.

The Texans managed just 284 net yards of offense. Considering the Patriots surrendered 389 passing yards to Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins in Week 2, there was a marked improvement in the performance of the defense, and you can bet that it was a result of Patricia’s work on this short week.

Now, the Patriots get a much-deserved 10-day break from the pressure of game day action. Contributors like Rob Gronkowski and Dont’a Hightower can ice their bruises, and most importantly, McDaniels and Belichick can decide whether or not Garoppolo will be ready to go for Week 4 against the Buffalo Bills.

One thing we now know, however; the Patriots can win regardless of who is playing quarterback. That is very much a comforting thought.