BOSTON (CBS) -- The Patriots have a tough task on their hands, dealing with an injury at quarterback on a short week.
But even with all the uncertainty surrounding Jimmy Garoppolo and his sprained AC joint, which could put rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett under center, the CBS Boston sports team is still confident the Pats will find a way to win their Thursday Night Football matchup against the Houston Texans:
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV Sports
The Patriots have won six straight games on Thursday night, and they don't plan on ending that streak this week -- no matter who is playing quarterback.
Jimmy Garoppolo was outstanding last week, and if he's cleared to play after spraining the AC joint in his right shoulder, look for him to be out there. But if needed, Jacoby Brissett can get the job done too. It's a short week and he's been studying like crazy, ready to start if he gets the call.
Both of these teams are 2-0 and if Houston has one thing going for them, it's that Bill O'Brien, a former QB coach and offensive coordinator under Bill Belichick, know's the New England system very well.
The Pats may be underdogs, but don't bet against them.
Patriots 24, Texans 17
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports
It's simply amazing what Bill Belichick, Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels keep doing with this Patriots team. After watching the Texans last week and their game against the Pats last season, I think the Pats can win this one too. If Brissett simply steps up to avoid the outside rush of J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus then I think they have a chance. They'll have to mix in some misdirection running plays on offense, and the New England defense must play better than last week too.
Patriots 24, Texans 20
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports
Okay, this one should be easy. The Pats are playing on a short week with no Brady, no Ninkovich and they may not have Gronk back. Jimmy Garoppolo is injured, and because of the Patriots' super secret way of doing things, no one has a clue if he will play (he probably won't, but who knows with all the mixed reports coming out of Foxboro).
So it's Jacoby Brissett under center against J.J. Watt and the Texans defense. This is a tough task for the rookie. Houston is coming off a big win over Kansas City so they are feeling great about themselves. This is sort of a homecoming for Bill O'Brien, and the same for Vince Wilfork. I'm just trying to say the Texans will be pumped for this game.
What the Pats have is this: They are playing at home and coach Belichick will do his best to make Brock Osweiller look terrible. The short week is actually in the Pats favor because they have no time to think about what they don't have coming into this game; they just have to go out there and play.
I know the Pats should not win this game. I know that. But despite all the odds, they will.
Patriots 17, Texans 13
Adam Kaufman, WBZ NewsRadio 1030/98.5 The Sports Hub
The Patriots are home underdogs for just the third time since 2005. That'll probably tick them off enough to win by a touchdown.
Us against the world, next man up, all that jazz. It's hard to pick against the Pats at home, even with Jimmy Garoppolo likely out, Jacoby Brissett getting his first career start in prime-time, and Rob Gronkowski's status in question (most seem to expect the tight end to test the hammy, but I have my doubts).
We've yet to see a really strong performance from New England's highly regarded defense through two weeks, though tonight may be the game the 'D' steals one for its offense. Won't be easy, certainly, but Brock Osweiler's only completed 60 percent of his passes this year and thrown for as many interceptions as touchdowns - three. The youngster's hardly been a world-beater. Plus, Houston's only converted 46 percent of the time on third down and ONCE in seven trips to the red zone. The club's 2-0, but both wins have come at home.
As long as Brissett can stay upright - most of the time, anyhow - he should be able to do enough to win.
Patriots 23, Texans 17
Mike "Sarge" Riley, WBZ NewsRadio 1030/98.5 The Sports Hub
I'm going into this game with the same scenario as Week 1 -- I have no idea what to expect! Will it be Jimmy G. or Brissett under center? All I know is the Patriots defense cannot perform like they did in the second half against the Dolphins on Sunday.
Both teams are 2-0, so something has to give. I'm going with the Patriots because they are at home, but it won't be an easy one.
Patriots 20, Texans 18
Rob "Hardy" Poole, 98.5 The Sports Hub
"Houston, we have a problem" -- words uttered by Jim Lovell. I grew up on a street named Lovell. The address was 296. So the final score could be 29-6. However, you have to remember those words were uttered during Apollo 13, so we have to add 13 points to the final score. Two points for the SAFETY of the astronauts added to the Patriots score. The remaining 11 added to the Texans' score.
Patriots 31, Texans 17
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