2018 Season Preview

Gameplan points: Patriots, Texans may be familiar, but much is unknown in this matchup

[get_snippet] [theme-my-login show_title=0]
(Adam Richins for BSJ)

Everyone knows that the Texans and Patriots will face off for the fifth time in the past four years (4-0, New England) when they meet to kick off the NFL season on Sunday. And in many ways, they're mirror images of each other, considering the head coach/offensive coordinator (Bill O'Brien) and defensive coordinator (Romeo Crennel) are former lieutenants to Bill Belichick in New England.

Certainly, many faces have changed (especially for Houston). But the main combatants are still very familiar to one another.

The Texans have the book on Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, James White, everyone but Trent Brown on the offensive line, Dont'a Hightower and the entire Patriots' secondary.

The Patriots have prepared multiple times for J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus, DeAndre Hopkins, Lamar Miller and Jonathan Joseph. New England has even experienced DeShaun Watson in the regular season, preseason, and joint practices.

But if you hooked up O'Brien and Belichick to truth serum, they'd tell you they're not sure exactly what they're going to get from the other in this game. Both teams are coming off camps and preseasons that revealed very little clues about the other.

In many ways, you can throw away the tape from last year's Week 3 meeting. On Sunday, expect the unexpected.