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Texans-Patriots Preview: Four Things To Watch

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The Texans are 2-0 and heading to Foxborough to play before a national television audience. What things are worth keeping an eye out for?

NFL: New England Patriots at Houston Texans
The worst kind of surprise for opposing quarterbacks.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It's a short week, and the Patriots are perhaps the worst team to have to come up against in that situation. However, with their current woes at quarterback, this may not be the game it was once billed to be. Even so, what's worth the watch this week?

1. Brock Osweiler

I re-watched the Chiefs game and thought Brock actually did a half-decent job. It was certainly a game we would have lost with any of the myriad other quarterbacks we've had the past couple of seasons. That being said, Osweiler has to stop turning the ball over. Three picks in two games isn't horrific, but I'd be much happier if he stopped doing it sooner rather than later. I'm hoping this is just growing pains as he develops in a new offense. He did have some nice throws outside of the picks, and it’s clear he has been unleashed to go deep when he wants, so these picks may just be the nature of the beast. If we could go a game without a turnover, that would be a great improvement.

2. Red Zone Offense

It made me very sad to see Brock drive us down the field several times only to end up a field goal. Although one of the drives was definitely a touchdown for me, your view may vary; no one seems to be clear on what a catch is... Anyway, we seem to stall in the red zone for one reason or another. We're very pass heavy in the red-zone, so if we could generate some runs over a yard or two, that could help a lot. If we can start turning these field goals into touchdowns, the Texans become extremely dangerous. Houston could have easily had 27 points against Kansas City just by doing exactly that, with the added bonus of saving my heart for another week by not going down to the wire.

3. Special Teams

After a great season opener in special teams against the Bears, it was a bit of a letdown in Week Two. Although the Chiefs are very good in that respect, there was some suspect coverage and tackling out there for Houston’s special teams. We're lucky that when it really blew up, we got bailed out by a flag. Add in the fact that Tyler Ervin had gunners all over him whenever he caught a punt, and special teams didn't really have the positive influence we thought it would. Can they take a step forward again against the Patriots?

4. The Texans’ Defense

It has been exceptional so far, just a joy to watch. Wherever you look, players have been performing brilliantly. J.J. Watt was much improved last week. Vince Wilfork was solid again. Whitney Mercilus was creating a ton of pressure. Jadeveon Clowney just blew up some runs against the Chiefs. John Simon was getting pressure too, and he forced a turnover to boot. Benardrick McKinney was a beast. All the cornerbacks were pretty good in coverage, getting some breakups. Everyone had a good game. How much can they limit this Jacoby Brissett offense? How many turnovers can they force? Can we continue the average of getting 4.5 sacks a game?

That's my look at the game ahead. What do you think is of note?

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