FOXBOROUGH, Mass., Sporting Alert – NFL Week 3 schedule kicks off with Thursday Night Football at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, with the New England Patriots hosting the Houston Texans.
Live coverage of this game is at 8:25pm ET, with CBS and NFL Network providing the live TV broadcast. Live ESPN Stats and NFL Stats will also be available when the game begins. Watch Houston Texans Games Online. Watch New England Patriots Games Online
Despite starting the season with two straight wins and dominating this series in recent meetings, the Patriots (2-0) come into this Thursday Night Football encounter as one point underdogs versus the travelling Texans (2-0) who have also won back-to-back games to begin the new term.
The over/under for this outing is 40.5.
NOTE: According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Patriots have a 62.9% chance of starting the campaign 3-0.
LAST TIME OUT
In Week 2, New England, still without starting quarterback Tom Brady, who remains suspended for Week 3, pick up a 31-24 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Jimmy Garoppolo threw three passes for first-half touchdowns, while going 18 of 27 for 234 yards without an interception and a 98.9 QBR.
Garoppolo and the Patriots also managed to cover as a -6-point favourite.
However, the 24-year-old is struggling with a right shoulder and reports suggest that he will likely miss Thursday night’s game. Jacoby Brissett, who went 6 of 9 for 92 yards against Miami, could make his first pro career start.
“Jacoby’s done a good job for us,” New England coach Bill Belichick said. “He’s improved every day. He’s a hard-working kid.
“He’s in here early, stays late, studies the game. He’s got good physical talent. He’s improved steadily since he’s been here — after the draft and all way through.”
At the same time, though, it is understood that wide receiver Julian Edelman, who played QB at Kent State, could serve as an emergency option after he took part in running plays during the week.
If Brissett gets the starting job in this NFL Thursday Night Football fixture, he would become the first rookie quarterback to start for the Patriots since 1993, when Drew Bledsoe started and threw four touchdown passes and 329 yards in the season finale win against Miami.
For Houston, it held on for a 19-12 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in NFL Week 2 action this past Sunday, with Nick Novak kicking four field goals in the win.
DeAndre Hopkins and rookie Will Fuller both tallied over 100 yards receiving for the Texans, who currently hold the top slot in the AFC SOUTH division.
Hopkins had seven catches for 113 yards receiving and a touchdown and Fuller caught four passes for 104 yards, with his longest being 53 yards.
The Patriots dominated the Texans 27-6 when these two clubs met last December, with Houston held to just 189 total yards.
In fact, since 2003, New England has won six of the past seven battles, and are currently on a four-game winning streak.
The Patriots have tallied 144 points from four meetings against Houston, so we could see the scoreboard ticking over again in this matchup.
NFL Injury Report
Brian Cushing, LB Out
Braxton Miller, WR Out
Duane Brown, OT Out
J.J. Watt, DE Questionable
New England Patriots
Jonathan Cooper, G Questionable
Dont’a Hightower, LB Questionable
Jonathan Freeny, LB Questionable
Rob Gronkowski, TE Questionable
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB Doubtful