Patriots

Patriots

 

The Pats beat the Texans, 27-20, in their season opener. Tom Brady went 26 of 39 for 277 yards with three touchdowns and a pick. The receiving touchdowns went to Rob Gronkowski, James White and Phillip Dorsett. Houston mounted a late comeback thanks to a Patriots turnover, but Deshaun Watson wasn't great on the day. 

None. And they won. Makes you think. 

Given how depleted the Patriots were feared to be at the position, it was fitting that only one New England wide receiver had more than one reception Sunday. Here's how the Pats' receiving game broke down (non-wide receivers in italics):

Gronkowski: 8 rec, 123 yards, TD
Dorsett: 7 rec, 66 yards, TD
White, 4 rec, 38 yards, TD
Develin: 4 rec, 22 yards

Hogan: 1 rec, 11 yards
Patterson: 1 rec, 6 yards
Hill: 1 rec, 6 yards
Burkhead: 1 rec, 5 yards 

 

How pleasantly surprising the defense was. The Pats had takeaways on two of the Texans' first six possessions: first off a fumble on a botched handoff on Houston's opening drive and later on a Stephon Gilmore pick on a deep pass into the end zone. The front seven had ample pressure on Watson, with Deatrich Wise being credited for one and a half sacks. 

With the Pats up by two touchdowns and set to receive a punt with 4:32 to play, Riley McCarron muffed the punt. That wasn't even the most infuriating part. Johnson "I couldn't do anything in the Super Bowl but then sassed everyone afterwards" Bademosi recovered it for Houston. Unbelievable. 

Brady overthrew a wide open Rex Burkhead in the end zone on the Pats' second drive. If memory serves, Brady had never thrown an incomplete pass in any season in which he'd attended OTAs. Then on the Patriots' fourth drive, Brady's pass over the middle was tipped at the line and intercepted by Tyrann Mathieu. Brady had never ever been intercepted before because he was attending OTAs. 

BONUS: The also OTA-skipping Gronkowski fumbled for the first time since 2012. Jeremy Hill was injured on the play. 

After a hilarious amount of offseason hype, the the left tackle turned in a strong debut against a vicious defense. He didn't give up any sacks, something that can't be said for LaAdrian Waddle. Brown also high-fived(/was playfully slapped in the face by?) Robert Kraft before the game.