Experts share their picks for the Patriots Week 5 matchup against the Houston Texans.
Mike Reiss, ESPN:
Pick: Patriots 23, Texans 17
Bold prediction: The Patriots will rush for 200 yards as a team, with running back Damien Harris leading the way by eclipsing the 100-yard mark and scoring 2 TDs. The Texans rank 28th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game, and the Patriots are determined to get their ground game going after totaling minus-1 yard on 8 carries in last Sunday's loss to the Buccaneers.
Sarah Barshop, ESPN
Pick: Patriots 17, Texans 7
What to watch for: Will the Texans' run game show any improvement? The Patriots are ranked 28th in Football Outsiders' DVOA against the run, but can Houston take advantage? The team ranks 30th in rush DVOA so far and has gone downhill since Mark Ingram II ran for 85 yards and a touchdown in Week 1.
Emmanuel Acho, ESPN: Patriots
Matt Bowen, ESPN: Patriots
Mike Clay, ESPN: Patriots
Jeremy Fowler: Patriots
Dominique Foxworth, ESPN: Patriots
Dan Graziano, ESPN: Patriots
Rob Ninkovich, ESPN: Patriots
Laura Rutledge, ESPN: Patriots
Kevin Seifert, ESPN: Patriots
Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Patriots
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com
Pick: Patriots 24, Texans 10
The cohesion and communication required by the Patriots' secondary to employ last week's game plan against Tom Brady bodes well for the rest of the season. New England can shapeshift with the best defenses and shouldn't have much trouble scrambling Davis Mills. The Texans have played 10 quarters with the rookie third-rounder at quarterback, scoring 16 total points.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports:
Pick: Patriots 20, Texans 13
The Texans are awful. The offense is bad with rookie Davis Mills and I can't wait to see what Bill Belichick throws at him. The Patriots offense did some good things against Tampa Bay with Mac Jones. This might be an ugly game to watch, but the Patriots are the better team right now and Jones is the better rookie passer. New England takes it.
Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports: Patriots
Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Patriots
Dave Richard, CBS Sports: Patriots
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Patriots
John Breech, CBS Sports: Patriots
Jamey Eisenberg, CBS Sports: Patriots
Jared Dubin, CBS Sports: Patriots
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Patriots 34, Texans 7
The Texans provide the perfect dose of low-hanging-fruit for the Patriots.
Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Patriots 31, Texans 20
The Patriots are struggling, but a trip to Houston is just the thing to fix that, for any team.
Paul Perillo, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 26, Texans 13
Mac Jones continues his development against a struggling Texans defense.
Mike Dussault, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 17, Texans 10
Both teams need a win and the Patriots have major health issues along their offensive line that should complicate their efforts. New England is the better team, but it won't be an easy path to their second win of the season.
Erik Scalavino, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 24, Texans 17
Even though I'm concerned about a potential post-"Return" hangover, as well as the increasing number of injuries on both the offensive line and defensive backfield, I'm still convinced that New England is a better team than Houston. The Patriots haven't played well down there in recent trips, but they'll find a way to get the job done this week.