Houston Texans vs New England Patriots Matchup Preview (11/22/2020): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Streams (Watch Online)
Watch as the 2-7 Houston Texans look to salvage their season against the 4-5 New England Patriots. It’s been all downhill for the Texans since blowing a 24-0 lead over the eventual Super Bowl Champions Kansas City Chiefs in last year’s AFC divisional round of the playoffs. A questionable offseason, the firing of Head Coach and General Manager Bill O’Brien, watching DeAndre Hopkins catch a game-winning Hail Mary for Arizona, and a dismal record has the Texans wondering what comes next. Meanwhile, the Cam Newton post-Tom Brady experiment in New England has been a roller coaster ride for New England fans. After a 2-1 start with a healthy Cam Newton, Bill Belichick looked like a genius. However, New England has since gone just 2-4, a few games of which Cam Newton spent sidelined due to a positive COVID-19 infection. An impressive win against Baltimore this past week has since put New England back on the map in the AFC playoff picture. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Houston Texans vs New England Patriots Matchup Page.
Date: Sunday, November 22nd, 2020
Time: 12:00 PM CT
Location: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
TV Coverage: CBS
Texans vs. Patriots Live Stream
Where can you watch Texans vs. Patriots online? You can stream this game, and many other NFL games live online with Hulu. Hulu has a 7 Day free trial and is cheaper than cable options at $5.99/month. Watch Texans vs. Patriots Free Online Now.
Houston Texans: Bryan Anger (quad) Q, Duke Johnson (illness) Q, Kenny Stills (back) Q, Michael Thomas (shoulder) Q, Laremy Tunsil (illness) Q, Senio Kelemete (concussion) Q, Jacob Martin (NIR) Q, Charles Omenihu (hamstring) Q
New England Patriots: Ja’Whaun Bentley (groin) Q, Adam Butler (shoulder) Q, Nick Folk (back) Q, Stephon Gilmore (knee) Q, Lawrence Guy (shoulder, elbow, knee) Q, Terez Hall (shoulder) Q, Damien Harris (ankle, chest) Q, Ryan Izzo (hamstring, hand) Q, Shaq Mason (calf) Q, John Simon (elbow) Q, Joe Thuney (ankle) Q, Deatrich Wise (knee, hand) Q, Isaiah Wynn (ankle) Q
There is not much to get excited about for Texans fans here in 2020. After such a strong 2019 season, the Texans’ playoff hopes have all but vanished this season with their 2-7 start. It started going 0-4, topped off with a 31-23 loss to the then 0-3 Vikings in week four that resulted in the firing of Head Coach and General Manager Bill O’Brien. Since then, with Romeo Crennel as the interim head coach, the Texans have looked much more competitive with a 2-3 record. Those three losses coming against strong teams, the Titans, Packers, and Browns, of which they currently share a combined 19-8 record. However, there are no moral victories in the NFL, and these are games in which the Texans expected to be winning rather than using them as an excuse for losing.
While it may feel as if it is drastically different, the Texans’ points per game scored of 22.2 is just a shade below their 2019 mark of 23.6. Despite the bad record and slightly less productive offense, Watson is still putting together an impressive season statistically. He has completed 205 of his 301 pass attempts, good enough for a 68.1-percent completion percentage, for 2539 yards and 18 touchdowns to just five interceptions. In addition, he’s added 233 yards rushing and one touchdown on the ground as well. Watson’s 8.4 yards per attempt is tied for the second-highest in the league. All being told, Watson will once again propagate the “great quarterback on a bad team” narrative. His two leading receivers, Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks are demonstrating an ability to hold up as viable receiving threats. They have a combined 128 catches for 1177 yards and nine touchdowns, receiving a combined nearly 45-percent of the team’s target share. On the ground, trade acquisition David Johnson has been solid. He has 408 yards, and three touchdowns on 103 carries, in addition to 161 receiving yards and one touchdown through the air on 16 receptions. However, his recent concussion landed him on the IR, and he’ll be replaced by backup Duke Johnson.
Defensively, Houston has struggled. Currently, their points per game allowed of 28.0 ranks as the seventh-highest in the league. While their 241.7 passing yards per game allowed is closer to average, the 167.4 yards per game they give up on the ground is the highest in the NFL. Looking back, the Texans have been gashed by a plethora of running backs so far in 2020. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Dalvin Cook, Jonathan Taylor, James Conner, Derrick Henry, Nick Chubb, and Kareem Hunt have all rushed for at least 100 yards against Houston. Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb did that in the same game in week 10, and James Robinson missed that mark by one yard in week 9. In fact, only two of their nine games have they allowed less than 100 rushing yards and three of which they allowed over 200. It hasn’t been pretty. That makes this week’s matchup against New England a tough one, considering New England will consistently have fresh legs running the ball with their committee approach, and their 164 rushing yards per game is third-highest in the NFL. If Houston doesn’t want New England to dictate this game, they’ll need to find a way to slow down the Patriots’ running attack and force Cam Newton to beat them through the air.
Houston Texans Depth Chart
New England Patriots
Joining in as the NFL community follows both the Buccaneers and the Patriots this season, trying to decide whether Brady or Belichick deserves more credit for their dynasty has not been disappointing. The first big splash came with the signing of long-time Panther and former NFL MVP, Cam Newton. Belichick took week one as a healthy-looking Cam propelled New England to a 1-0 start beating Miami, while Tom Brady and the Buccaneers fell to 0-1, losing to the Saints. However, since then, the tide has slowly been turning in favor of Brady. Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19, missed a few games, and New England’s mediocre play has them playing with a 4-5 record from the outside of the playoff picture looking in for the first time in a while. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay is cruising at 7-3, just a game back of the Saints for the division lead. New England bounced back nicely in week 10, however, with an impressive win over Baltimore to gain some momentum and stay within arms reach of a wild-card spot.
The Patriots’ offense in 2020 has been hard to evaluate. Ultimately, they’re not getting the job done. Their 21 points per game mark is sixth-lowest in the league, just a shade under Houston’s mark of 22.2. Their inefficiencies on offense stem largely from their inability to throw the ball, whether it be Cam Newton or his replacement while he sat out with a positive COVID-19 infection. Combined on the season, Patriots passers have completed 66.7-percent of passes for 1851 yards, five touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. For reference, Josh Allen and Russell Wilson lead the league in yards and touchdowns, respectively, with 2871 yards and 28 touchdowns. The only reason they’re not worse offensively is their ability to run the ball. Newton, Damien Harris, Rex Burkhead, and Sony Michel have combined for 1246 yards rushing on 254 attempts, good enough for a yards per carry clip of 4.91. Additionally, those four players have a combined 14 rushing touchdowns, nine of which are owned by Newton himself.
The Patriots defense has come back down to earth after their absolutely scorching-hot start to the 2019 season. Through week 8 of 2019, opponents were averaging a staggering 7.63 points per game against New England. Over the second half of the season, that number jumped up to still-solid 20.5 points per game. While that number in 2020 is up to 23.4, it is still the 11th-lowest rate in the NFL. It doesn’t help that they lost a handful of key starters both in free agency and in opting-out for COVID-19 concerns and have played the last three games without star corner Stephon Gilmore due to a knee injury. One way or another, the Patriots defense is hanging in there and keeping games competitive for the most part. Another win, and they’ll move to 5-5, chasing down the large group of current 6-3 teams fighting for a spot in the playoffs.
New England Patriots Depth Chart
Betting Corner New England -2.5
Spread: Patriots -2.5
Moneyline: New England -130, Houston +115
The 2-7 Houston Texans open as home underdogs against the 4-5 New England Patriots. This is unsurprising, consider not only the season as a whole but both teams’ performances in week 10. Houston lost a 10-7 clunker against Cleveland as opposed to New England’s impressive 23-17 win over Baltimore. This season, New England is 4-5 against the spread and 2-2 against the spread on the road. Meanwhile, Houston 3-6 against the spread and 1-3 against the spread at home. Currently, there’s little concern about the weather, with a 15-percent chance of rain and small winds expected.
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Daily Fantasy Picks
If we have learned any fantasy lessons in 2020, it’s that we start running backs against Houston. Last week, both Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb totaled over 100 yards on the ground. Not only is Houston the 31st-ranked team against running backs in DraftKings, but Damien Harris is coming in at an enticingly low price of $5700. For reference, the next three running backs cheaper than him at the moment are Jamaal Williams, Boston Scott, and Kalen Ballage. It’s understandably difficult to trust any New England running back, for potential lack of volume and Newton’s propensity to vulture away goal-line carries, but Damien Harris has been really solid in recent weeks. He’s averaging just over 14 carries per game, with his season-high of 22 coming just this past week against Baltimore. Considering the matchup and price, Damien Harris would be a great piece to allow yourself to spend up elsewhere on your rosters.
Despite only having three passing touchdowns on the season, two of which came in week three or prior, Cam Newton still finds himself as a relevant fantasy quarterback. This is largely due to New England’s play-calling at the goal-line, as Newton has scored at least one rushing touchdown in six of his eight games played, three of which he finished with two. In addition to his passing stats, Newton has added 335 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. This week, Newton takes on DraftKing’s 25th-ranked team against fantasy quarterbacks, making it a positive matchup. Additionally, regaining his health with each passing week, Cam is averaging 20.23 points per game over the past three weeks. Not many options provide both the positive matchup and upside at a relatively cheap price the way Cam Newton does in week 11.
While the Texans season may appear to be a train wreck on paper, Deshaun Watson is still quietly putting up a wonderful season for fantasy. Ignoring last week’s snow-bowl against Cleveland, Watson had been averaging 27.86 points per game over his last five games. On the season, his overall stat line is impressive: 2339 passing yards, 18 passing touchdowns, five interceptions, 233 rushing yards, and one rushing touchdown. While the matchup against New England is closer to middle-of-the-pack than it is a positive one, The Patriots might once again be without star corner Stephon Gilmore. Nonetheless, Watson is one of this weeks’ cheapest options among the upper-tier of fantasy quarterbacks.
You might want to monitor the status of star cornerback Stephon Gilmore throughout the week, as he has missed three straight games due to a knee injury. However, if he’s out, consider stacking Will Fuller with Watson. Ignoring last week’s heavy weather impacted game against Cleveland, the Watson and Fuller stack had been averaging just over 47 fantasy points per game on DraftKings over their past five games. Additionally, this stack will cost you just $12,700 on DraftKings, compared to $16,600 for the Murray and Hopkins stack, or $15,000 for Wilson and Metcalf. Take this stack and use the extra few thousand to upgrade a position elsewhere on your roster.