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Game Preview: Texans at Patriots

Game Preview - Texans at Patriots - 20180909

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (0-0) vs. HOUSTON TEXANS (0-0)
Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Gillette Stadium (65,878)

PATRIOTS: Game Release | Roster | Depth Chart | Stats | Watch Games
TEXANS: Roster | Depth Chart | Stats

The New England Patriots kick off Week 1 of the 2018 NFL regular season on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 1 p.m. at Gillette Stadium against the Houston Texans. The defending AFC Champions have 32 wins on Kickoff Weekend, tied with the L.A. Chargers for fourth-most among current AFC teams. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady owns a 12-3 record on opening day and can tie Peyton Manning for the most opening-day wins by an NFL quarterback at 13 with a victory on Sunday.

The Patriots and Texans will square off for the fourth straight year in the regular season and for the third straight time at Gillette Stadium. It is also the third straight September game in Foxborough. Last year, New England hosted Houston in Week 3 of the regular season and won, 36-33, after Tom Brady threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to WR Brandin Cooks with 23 seconds to play to claim the win. Overall, the Patriots hold a 7-1 edge over the Texans in the regular season, including a 4-0 record at home, and a 2-0 record over the Texans in the playoffs, with both games held at Gillette Stadium.

SERIES HISTORY

The Patriots will face Houston for the fourth straight year in the regular season and for the third straight time at Gillette Stadium.

Last season, the Patriots conducted joint practices at the Texans’ training camp facility in West Virginia followed by a Week 2 preseason meeting in Houston. The Texans won that game 27-23. The Patriots hosted Houston in Week 3 of the regular season and beat Houston, 36-33, when QB Tom Brady completed a 25-yard, toe-tapping touchdown pass to WR Brandin Cooks with 23 seconds to play to claim the win.

In 2016, the Patriots and Texans played twice with New England taking a 27-0 victory on Sept. 22 and then a 34-16 win in the Divisional Playoffs. Both of those games were played at Gillette Stadium.

Overall, the Patriots have met Houston 10 times and hold an 9-1 advantage since Houston entered the NFL in 2002, including 7-1 in the regular season and 2-0 in the postseason.

The Patriots are 6-0 overall against the Texans at home.

New England’s only loss against Houston was in the final game of the 2009 regular season when Houston defeated the Patriots 34-27. The Patriots had already clinched the division prior to that game and Tom Brady was relieved for portions of that game by then backup QB Brian Hoyer.

Before the Texans joined the league, the Patriots and the Houston Oilers were foes dating back to the days of the American Football League, playing twice a year from 1960-69 and 33 times overall before the Oilers moved to Tennessee following the 1996 season.

TALE OF THE TAPE

Table Extended
2017 Regular Season New England Houston
Record 13-3 4-12
Divisional Standings 1st 4th
Total Yards Gained 6,307 5,120
Total Offense (Rank) 394.2 (1) 320.0 (20)
Rush Offense 118.1 (10) 115.1 (14)
Pass Offense 276.1 (2) 204.9 (21)
Points Per Game 28.6 (2) 21.1 (17)
Total Yards Allowed 5,856 5,546
Total Defense (Rank) 366.0 (29) 346.6 (20)
Rush Defense 114.8 (20) 109.2 (13)
Pass Defense 251.3 (30) 237.4 (24)
Points Allowed/Game 18.5 (5) 27.3 (32)
Possession Avg. 30:37 30:07
Sacks Allowed/Yards Lost 35/201 54/366
Sacks Made/Yards 42/299 32/200
Total Touchdowns Scored 49 40
Penalties Against/Yards 95/835 124/1050
Punts/Avg. 58/43.4 92/49.0
Turnover Differential +6 (11) -12 (28)

PATRIOTS LOOK TO KICK OFF ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SEASON

  • Bill Belichick is 15-8 (.652) on Kickoff Weekend and his 15 wins are the most among active head coaches. Belichick and Kansas City’s Andy Reid (11-8, .579) are the only active head coaches who have won at least 10 Kickoff Weekend games and own an opening weekend winning percentage above .500.
  • The Patriots record of 123-37 (.769) over the past 10 seasons is the best in the NFL. Over the past 10 years, only three NFL teams have posted a winning percentage of .600 or better.
  • The Patriots enter this season with 214 regular season wins since 2000. The NFL record for most regular season wins over two consecutive decades is 217 by the San Francisco 49ers (1970s/80s). The Patriots need just four more wins to surpass the 49ers for the most regular season wins in two consecutive decades.

UNBLEMISHED RECORD

The Texans are one of four teams against which the Patriots own an undefeated regular season home record (4-0). The Patriots are 5-0 against Baltimore, 4-0 against Chicago and 4-0 against Jacksonville.

BRADY VS. HOUSTON

Tom Brady is 6-1 against Houston in the regular season and 2-0 in the postseason.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR THIS WEEK

IF THE PATRIOTS WIN...

  • It will be the team’s 14th opening day win since 2000 and the 33rd opening day win in franchise history. New England is currently tied for fourth with L.A. Chargers among current AFC teams for most opening-day wins behind Pittsburgh (43), Denver (38) and Indianapolis (33).
  • The Patriots will have won nine out of their last 10 home openers on kickoff weekend.
  • The Patriots will earn their 170th home victory since 1994 (including postseason), extending their league record during that time.
  • The Patriots will improve their record to 8-1 against the Houston Texans in the regular season and 10-1 all-time. The Texans are the Patriots’ least-common opponent in the AFC, with their first matchup coming in 2003.
  • The Patriots will extend their undefeated home record against the Texans to 5-0. Houston is one of just four teams against which the Patriots own an undefeated regular-season home record (4-0). The Patriots are 5-0 against Baltimore, 4-0 against Chicago and 4-0 against Jacksonville.

SUCCESS ON KICKOFF WEEKEND

The defending AFC Champion New England Patriots have won eight of their past nine home openers on Kickoff Weekend. The Patriots are tied for the fourth-most Kickoff Weekend wins among current AFC teams (32).

BELICHICK ON KICKOFF WEEKEND

Bill Belichick is 15-8 (.652) on Kickoff Weekend and his 15 wins are the most among active head coaches. Belichick and Kansas City’s Andy Reid (11-8, .579) are the only active head coaches who have won at least 10 Kickoff Weekend games and own an opening-weekend winning percentage above .500.

BRADY BEST ON OPENING DAY

Tom Brady is 12-3 as a starting quarterback on opening day, the best winning percentage among any quarterback on opening day in the Super Bowl era. With a win this week, he can match Peyton Manning with 13 wins.

PATS HAVE BEST RECORD IN PAST 10 YEARS

The Patriots record of 123-37 (.769) over the past 10 seasons is the best in the NFL. Only three NFL teams have posted a winning percentage of .600 or better during that time span.

BEST OPENING-MONTH RECORD

No team in the NFL has started off seasons stronger than the Patriots over the past 10 years, as New England has amassed a league-best 24-9 opening- month record since 2008.

ON TOP SINCE REALIGNMENT

In the 16 seasons since realignment in 2002, 28 different teams have won division titles. New England leads the NFL with 14 division titles and 14 overall playoff appearances during that time.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION: This week’s game will be broadcast by CBS and can be seen on WBZ-TV Channel 4. Jim Nantz will handle play-by-play duties with Tony Romo as the color analyst. Tracy Wolfson will work from the sidelines. The game will be produced by Jim Rikhoff and directed by Mike Arnold.

NATIONAL RADIO: This week’s game will be broadcast to a national audience on Sports USA. Larry Kahn and Doug Plank will call the game.

LOCAL RADIO: 98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. A complete listing of the network’s 41 stations can be found here. Play-by-play broadcaster Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis. The games are produced by Marc Cappello.

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