Experts share their picks for the Patriots season opener against the Houston Texans.
Mike Reiss, ESPN:
Pick: Texans 24, Patriots 20
Three of the Patriots' key starters -- Rex Burkhead, Marcus Cannon and Trey Flowers -- didn't play in the preseason, and the team enters the game with just three wide receivers who were with the club in training camp: Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson. Add in the fact that Jacob Hollister might not be ready, and it's asking a lot of the offense against the Texans' D.
Mike Golic, ESPN: Patriots
Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Patriots
Mina Kimes, ESPN: Patriots
Trey Wingo, ESPN: Patriots
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports:
Pick: Patriots 31, Texans 21
The Texans have Deshaun Watson back at quarterback, which is a big thing. But the offensive line has issues, and that's never a good thing against the Patriots. Tom Brady has a limited number of weapons, but he has enough. Patriots take it.
Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports: Patriots
Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Patriots
Dave Richard, CBS Sports: Patriots
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Patriots
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com:
Pick: Patriots 34, Texans 30
This sucker might be a track meet, not tooooo dissimilar from last year's tilt. Can Deshaun Watson pull off his insane three-touchdowns-in-every-game act again? There is plenty of concern about the Patriots' defense providing the kid with plenty of opportunities. After narrowly escaping with a win over the Texans last year, New England's defense majorly flipped the script, going from Swiss cheese to the stingiest unit in the league the rest of the season. Houston's defense will have trouble covering the Patriots' backs. Give James White 10 catches.
Mike Giardi, NFL Network: Texans 27, Patriots 24
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Texans 27, Patriots 23
Another year, another Week One home upset loss for the Pats.
Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Patriots 27, Texans 24
I almost want to pick Deshaun Watson to go to New England and pull off a Week One shocker, but I don't quite have the guts to pull the trigger. It should be a close game that the Patriots just hold on to win.
Paul Perillo, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 27, Texans 23
Tom Brady still has Rob Gronkowski, and Deshaun Watson is coming off a torn ACL. Those factors will be just enough for the Patriots to open with a win.
Andy Hart, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 31, Texans 24
The matchup between the Patriots offensive line and Texans defensive front could decide the game. Given time, Tom Brady will find success with his limited roster of weapons.
Erik Scalavino, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 26, Texans 23
Houston has beefed up its secondary and has its best pass rushers coming back from injury. That'll keep things close most of the day, but New England's offense eventually proves too much.