You heard me. This is without a doubt the most ridiculous NFL spread I have ever seen in my life. As of today, Houston has opened as a one-point favorite in Foxborough for this week’s Thursday night matchup.
One. Single. Point.
I know what you’re thinking. “Siblings, you’re an idiot. The Pats are one of the best teams in the league.” And you’re right; they are good. But this Thursday, New England will start rookie Jacoby Brissett at quarterback. Who? Good question. Unless you’re a dedicated NC State football fan, which I assume you’re not, you’ve never heard of the dude. Side note: I actually thought they canceled the football program at NC State. Why else would they let Russell Wilson transfer to Wisconsin? Oh wait, that was in favor of Mike Glennon. You’re welcome, DeVry.
For those of you like me who follow recruiting and have essentially nothing better to do with your lives, you might remember Brissett being hand-selected by Charlie Weis and then-Florida Coach Will Muschamp to lead the Gators back to Urban Meyer-level glory. Sadly for Brissett, I’m not sure if there is anything more damning for a quarterback than being hand-selected by Charlie Weis and Will Muschamp, with all three involved leaving Gainesville with nothing but missed opportunities and disappointment. At NC State, Brissett was okay; a big kid with all the measurables hidden beneath a bizarre throwing motion and inexplicably poor decision-making skills. He is, for lack of a better term, a major project for the long term. But when you’re New England and have the best quarterback of all time starting in front of what looks to be a budding star in Jimmy Garoppolo, you can afford to role the dice on a kid you won’t need for years.
But then Uncle Roger finally gets his vengeance against the diabolical air manipulator that is Tom Brady, the phenom backup is injured in Week 2, and POOF! The kid Belichick probably expected in sweats holding a clipboard all season is your new starter. Brissett, a draft pick whose last name more pundits spent extended time trying to correctly pronounce than made note of his actual ability, will now be tasked with leading a dynamic Josh McDaniels attack on a short week against what has become one of the NFL’s most feared defenses, led by pass rushers Jadeveon Clowney and perhaps the league’s best overall player, JJ Watt.
Give me a fucking break.
In their own right, the Texans are a hell of a team. Coming off of a convincing win against a trendy Super Bowl pick (the Chiefs), Osweiler and the other two new additions to the Texans offense, Lamar Miller and Will Fuller, are clicking on all cylinders, presenting the Pats defense with the most talented offense in the history of the expansion franchise. Coach Bill O’Brien, a butt-chinned Belichick disciple and former OC of the Patriots, possesses an intimate knowledge of all things New England while morphing the Texans into what he hopes will be the next dynasty of the AFC South. And, at least so far, it looks like it is working.
This Thursday, the Texans will have the vastly superior quarterback, running back, and a receiving core that cannot even be compared. Gronk is not expected to play, leaving Brissett, in his first ever start, to deal with Watt & Co. flanked by Blount, Edelman, Amendola, and Chris Hogan, with perhaps the worst offensive line of the Belichick tenure protecting him. It should be an absolute blood bath.
So if I lose my precious shekels wagering on the team with the better quarterback, running back, wide receivers, defensive line, and offensive line (and with comparable personnel elsewhere) facing a “project” quarterback in his first career start on a short week, I will never wager on the NFL again — and neither should you.
Texans 30 Pats 17..
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