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NFL Game Recaps: Week 3, 2016






Patriots 27, Texans 0

  • The Texans were favored heading into this game, and no one seemed to be giving the Patriots a chance. After all, New England was set to battle a strong Houston team with its third-string quarterback, Jacoby Brissett, who was making his first professional start.

    No one expected it, but the Patriots dominated this contest from start to finish. Bill Belichick and his staff created the perfect game plan, comprised of a dominant defense that kept the Texans from crossing midfield until the middle of the third quarter, and an offense that put the rookie quarterback in position to succeed. Combine both of those facets with some terrific special-teams play - the Patriots recovered two fumbles and constantly pinned the Texans inside their own 15 - and it turned out to be an easy, 27-0 victory for New England.

  • Brissett had a solid debut. He made some mistakes, namely a few overthrows on some deep shots and not recognizing when some players were open, but he did a good job overall, considering the circumstances. Brissett was battling a very tough defense with just three days to prepare, and yet he made enough quality plays to ensure the Patriots prevailed.

    Brissett went 11-of-19 for 103 yards, but did most of his damage on the ground. He scrambled eight times for 48 rushing yards and a touchdown. Brissett's passing was inconsistent, but he made some key strikes on third down, including a 27-yarder to Malcolm Mitchell in which he beat Houston's blitz. He also nearly had a passing touchdown, but Julian Edelman dropped the ball in the end zone.

  • Speaking of Edelman, he led the Patriots in receiving yards with just 38, accumulating that on four catches. Edelman had the drop, but did a lot of good things that didn't show up in the stat box. He happened to draw a pass interference flag and opened some opportunities with some key blocks, including one on a 41-yard touchdown run. What was disappointing, however, is that Edelman didn't play quarterback at all. There was talk that Edelman, as a former signal-caller at Kent State, would see some snaps under center in trick plays, but that never transpired. He did happen to rush for 14 yards, however.

  • Only three Patriots caught multiple passes. Besides Edelman, there was Danny Amendola (2-23) and Martellus Bennett (2-10). Bennett, like Edelman, played much better than the stats indicate. Bennett drew two pass interferences in the end zone and was open for a score, but Brissett didn't see him. As for Rob Gronowski, he was targeted once on a poor throw. Gronkowski didn't look like he could move very well, and he pretty much served as a distraction on what appeared to be five or so snaps.

  • LeGarrette Blount had a huge game. He was stuffed on his first several carries, but got stronger as the game progressed. He eventually had a 41-yard burst for a score, thanks to an Edelman pancake block. Blount punched through for 105 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries.

  • The Texans, meanwhile, had to be a huge disappointment for those who thought they could take the next step. They flat out choked in this game. They showed everyone that they absolutely weren't ready for primetime, as they constantly made horrible mistakes throughout the evening.

    It began with a Stphen Anderson drop. The Texans then fumbled on a kickoff return, setting up a Brisett touchdown run, helped by a missed tackle by safety Andre Hal. Brock Osweiler screwed up after that, firing a careless interception in which he didn't see Jamie Collins. Following another fumbled kickoff return, the Patriots scored another quick touchdown, and just like that, it was over. Bill O'Brien, who wasted timeouts and had to be alerted by his punter to challenge a play, was outcoached by a mile in this game, and his team didn't seem ready for the big stage.

  • Osweiler went just 24-of-41 for 196 yards and an interception. He was hurt by some drops, but he was also bailed out with some spectacular catches by DeAndre Hopkins. Osweiler did not look like a high-priced quarterback in the slightest, and even appeared to have a pick-six dropped by Malcolm Butler in the fourth quarter. There will be better days, but this was an awful showing by Osweiler.

    As for Hopkins, he caught four balls for 56 yards. The stats are disappointing for his fantasy owners, but Hopkins did all he could. At one point, he made an amazing, back-shoulder grab while falling out of bounds.

  • Osweiler's other primary targets didn't do much. Will Fuller caught only three passes for 31 yards, and he naturally was guilty of a drop. Braxton Miller was out, so Jaelen Strong saw more action, but didn't do much with the opportunity, catching only one of four targets for 15 yards.

  • Lamar Miller opened the game with a nice run, but didn't get much help from his blocking the rest of the night. Miller gained 80 yards on 21 carries and also caught four balls for 27 receiving yards. He came on and off the field in the second half, constantly getting his leg wrapped up, but he seems to be OK.





    Dolphins XX, Browns XX




  • Titans XX, Raiders XX







  • Ravens XX, Jaguars XX




  • Giants XX, Redskins XX






  • Panthers XX, Vikings XX




  • Bengals XX, Broncos XX




  • Packers XX, Lions XX




  • Cardinals XX, Bills XX




  • Steelers XX, Eagles XX




  • Seahawks XX, 49ers XX




  • Buccaneers XX, Rams XX




  • Chiefs XX, Jets XX




  • Colts XX, Chargers XX




  • Cowboys XX, Bears XX




  • Saints XX, Falcons XX




  • For more thoughts, check out my updated NFL Power Rankings, which will be posted Tuesday morning.



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    2016: Live 2016 NFL Draft Blog - April 30
    2016 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 12
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    2015: Live 2015 NFL Draft Blog - April 30
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    2014: Live 2014 NFL Draft Blog - May 8
    2014 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 5
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    2013: Live 2013 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
    2013 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 10
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    2012: Live 2012 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
    2012 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 10
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    Super Bowl XLVII Live Blog - Feb. 4


    2011: Live 2011 NFL Draft Blog - April 28
    2011 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 12
    2011 NFL Week 2 Recap - Sept. 19
    2011 NFL Week 3 Recap - Sept. 26
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    Super Bowl XLVI Live Blog - Feb. 6


    2010: Live 2010 NFL Draft Blog - April 22
    2010 Hall of Fame Game Live Blog - Aug. 8
    2010 NFL Kickoff Live Blog - Sept. 9
    2010 NFL Week 1 Review - Sept. 13
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    2010 NFL Week 17 Review - Jan. 3
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    Super Bowl XLV Live Blog - Feb. 6


    2009: Live 2009 NFL Draft Blog - April 25
    2009 Hall of Fame Game Live Blog - Aug. 10
    2009 NFL Kickoff Live Blog - Sept. 10
    2009 NFL Week 1 Review - Sept. 14
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    2009 NFL Week 3 Review - Sept. 28
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    Super Bowl XLIV Live Blog - Feb. 7


    2008: Live 2008 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
    2008 NFL Kickoff Blog - Sept. 4
    NFL Week 1 Review - Sept. 8
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    NFL Week 3 Review - Sept. 22
    NFL Week 4 Review - Sept. 29
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    NFL Wild Card Playoffs Review - Jan. 4
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    NFL Championship Sunday Review - Jan. 19
    Super Bowl XLIII Live Blog


    2007: NFL Draft: Day 1 Review Blog - April 28
    Quarterback Rankings - June 25
    NFL Kickoff Blog - Sept. 6
    Chief Carl Has Lost a Step - Sept. 9
    The NFL Cheated the Patriots - Sept. 16
    NFL Week 3 Wrap-Up - Sept. 23
    NFL Week 4 Wrap-Up - Sept. 30
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    2008 Championship Sunday Diary - Jan. 20
    Super Bowl XLII Live Blog - Feb. 3

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