Kickoff Sunday, Oct 10th 1:00pm Eastern

Patriots (
23.5) at

Texans (

Over/Under 39.0


Key Matchups
Patriots Run D
1st DVOA/1st Yards allowed per carry
Texans Run O
30th DVOA/26th Yards per carry
Patriots Pass D
13th DVOA/9th Yards allowed per pass
Texans Pass O
12th DVOA/5th Yards per pass
Texans Run D
2nd DVOA/2nd Yards allowed per carry
Patriots Run O
23rd DVOA/24th Yards per carry
Texans Pass D
23rd DVOA/22nd Yards allowed per pass
Patriots Pass O
29th DVOA/28th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By papy324 >>
  • This game environment will be one of the worst we see this season
  • The Patriots threw the ball 91 times the past two weeks because of game plan
  • Damien Harris has 20 carry / 2 TD upside if he maintains the coaching staff’s trust
  • Brandin Cooks has volume on his side

How new england Will Try To Win ::

“Bill, you’re letting a lot of folks down. Folks you don’t want to let down,” says Dean Blandino, twirling a fork full of pasta at an Italian restaurant across from Gene Steratore as Bill Belichick walks in after last week’s loss. Maybe Belichick isn’t letting the NFL mob down, but he is letting down a lot of supporters that want to credit him with the Patriots success over the past two decades.

The Pats are in a tough spot. Sitting at 1-3, with their only victory coming against the hapless Jets, serious questions are starting to be asked about Bill Belichick’s ability to win games without the best QB to ever play. Those questions are fair. The Patriots were given a mulligan on last year’s rebuilding process, but after a flurry of spending (leading to the recent trade of Stephon Gilmore), and what is supposed to be an elite coaching staff, a return to success was expected this season. Instead, the “Patriot way,” is looking an awful lot like it was always the “Brady way.”

Bill Belichick does deserve credit for his Week 4 approach against the mighty Bucs. Outgunned, and desperately searching for a path to victory, he opted for the only approach that gave his team a chance to win which was totally abandoning the run (40 passes versus eight rushes in a game that was close throughout) and assaulting the only vulnerable part of the Bucs defense, through the air. This game plan further reinforced that the coaching staff trusts Mac Jones enough to attack the relative weakness of a defense.

Facing a pathetic Texans defense that is void of talent at all levels and has failed to hold an opponent under 21 points this season, expect the Patriots to lean on their run game after skewing pass heavy last week. The coaching staff trusts Mac Jones, but they also know that they have no reason to expose him to mistakes in a game they should be able to easily control with their defense and running game.

How houston Will Try To Win ::

Houston isn’t as much trying to win games as they are trying to survive. Coming off a 40-0 drubbing at the hands of the Bills, a shell-shocked Texans team draws a desperate Patriots squad that is essentially playing for their season. The Texans haven’t been competitive since Davis Mills took over, losing 17-7 in the second half against the Browns, 24-9 against the Panthers, and 40-0 against the Bills. The Davis Mills led Texans have scored two touchdowns in their past ten quarters of football. Ouch.

It’s hard to take much from last week’s “game” because the Texans lost so badly that they gave up. Their 21 pass attempts against 18 team carries would indicate a balanced approach. In a 40-0 rout, we would expect to see a team throw the ball a lot more than we saw from the Texans. They were content to play as if the game was 0-0 because they knew trying to catch up was a hopeless endeavor. The Patriots aren’t as high-powered as the Bills so expect a balanced approach where the Texans attempt to “hide” their QB, before ultimately giving up, or letting him turn the ball over late in catch-up mode.  

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

This game has a miniature 39.5 total that reflects a game environment where both teams are expected to try and grind out a win. The Texans have a sad 15.25 team total, demonstrating just how atrocious this offense has been since Mills took over. The most likely game flow is highly likely in this contest. The Texans appear to have a stronger pass defense (8th in DVOA) than run defense (31st in DVOA) but that number is slanted because it’s so easy to run on the Texans and their offense doesn’t push other teams to pass. With no clear “path of least resistance” against a Texans defense that is nothing but “least resistance,” expect the Patriots to lean on their O-line and ground attack while allowing the Texans offense to struggle. The Patriots should be successful in this approach and slowly pull away as the game reaches the fourth quarter. The Texans are likely to give up, preferring to keep the scoreboard close rather than allowing Davis Mills to throw interceptions.

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By LexMiraglia10 >>


  • HOU has scored 16 points in 10 quarters with Davis Mills
  • NE pts allowed by defense: MIA (17) // NYJ (6) // NOR (21) // TB (19)

Davis Mills:

  • NE ranks 2nd in defensive pass DVOA
  • NE has 5 INT, 4 of which came vs rookie Zach Wilson
  • Rookie QBs vs NE since 2010: 14 TDs, 25 INT (per Dwprix)
  • In 10 Quarters, Mills has a total of 357 yds, 2 TD, 5 INT, 8 sacks

Brandin Cooks:

  • Five WRs have 60+ yds vs NE: Parker (81), Waddle (61:1) // Berrios (73) // Evans (75), Brown (63)
  • NE held rookie Zach Wilson’s top WR (Corey Davis) to 2 rec for 8 yds
  • Cooks targets on Mills pass att: 9/18, 11/28, 7/21
  • Cooks in 10 quarters with Mills: 4:28:1, 9:112, 5:47
  • Since 2014, Home WRs averaging 7+ targets, on teams implied for under 19 pts, have failed to meet salary based expectations 58% of the time
  • Only 5 of the 58 WRs in that sample reached 20 DK pts, and just one reached 25 DK pts
  • Cooks in W3 vs CAR (23.7 DK pts) is one of the 5, though HOU is implied for an even worse 16.5 pts this week vs NE

Mac Jones:

  • QBs vs HOU: Lawrence (332:3:3) // Mayfield (213:1:1, rush TD) // Darnold (304:0, 2 rush TD) // Allen (248:2:1, 6:41), Trubisky rush TD
  • Mac Jones has a combined 1 att for -3 rush yds in three games, and 6 att for 28 yds in the other (vs NOR)
  • Jones passing: 281:1 // 186:0 // 270:1:3 // 275:2:1
  • In NE’s one win, a blowout, Jones threw just 30 pass att (39, 51, 40 in the others)
  • NE is currently an 8.5 point favorite on the road


  • Targets: Meyers (9, 6, 14, 12) // Agholor (7, 3, 8, 5) // Bourne (3, 3, 8, 5)
  • WRs with 9 tg vs HOU: Chark (3:86:1) // MJJ (5:77:1) // Viska (7:50) // Moore (8:126) // Diggs (7:114)
  • NE’s highest scoring WR by game: Agholor (18.2) // Meyers (7.8) // Bourne (21.6) // Meyers (16.8)


  • Routes per dropback: Jonnu (48%, 42%, 27%, 38%) // Henry (58%, 76%, 68%, 64%)
  • Targets: Jonnu (5, 5, 6, 5) // Henry (3, 4, 6, 5)
  • Jonnu somehow has 3 more targets despite a large discrepancy in routes run
  • aDOT: Jonnu (3.7) // Henry (7.4)
  • RZ targets: Jonnu (5) // Henry (2); each scored their first TD last week
  • Henry has 30+ yds in every game (31, 42, 36, 32)

Damien Harris:

  • Backfields vs HOU are averaging 150 total yds; HOU allowed a league-high 190.9 yds/g in 2020 so that’s a positive increase for the Texans
  • Harris had 39 rush att in first two weeks, but just 10 in the last two vs NOR & TB, who rank 3rd & 4th in defensive rush DVOA
  • HOU ranks 31st in defensive rush DVOA
  • James White is done for the season, JJ Taylor fumbled on one of two touches last week, Stevenson has two touches on the season, Bolden is historically a special teams player and still only has 4 rush att to 10 targets in the last two games
  • Harris with 15+ rush att in career: 17:100 // 16:102:1 // 22:121 // 16:80 // 23:100 // 16:62:1