Honest question for everyone- do you think New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick could find a way to plug you in as one of the 11 starters on offense or defense and still win the game?
Because Belichick and the Patriots just beat the Houston Texans 27-0 with their third string QB Jacoby Brissett and with their star TE Rob Gronkowski playing just a handful of snaps.
After the Patriots played a pretty conservative first half of football and claimed a 10-0 halftime lead, they ground the Texans into oblivion in the second half.
The Patriots received the ball to start the second half and RB LeGarrette Blount marched down the field to the 7 yard line as the offense settled for a field goal. The offensive line completely overpowered the Texans defense, so two passing plays inside the 10 was a bit of a head scratcher, but the Patriots took a 13-0 lead.
The Texans received the kickoff and fumbled it again giving the Patriots the ball on the Texans 21 yard line. This time, the Patriots just ran Blount until he reached the end zone and a 20-0 lead, thanks to two defensive pass interference calls against the Texans defense to give the Patriots a fresh set of downs on the 1 yard line.
The two teams exchanged punts until the fourth quarter when the Texans reached the Patriots side of the field for the first time all game. The Texans had a 4th and 4 situation where they passed the ball and Malcolm Butler broke it up. The play was almost the exact same goal line play that the Seahawks tried in the Super Bowl that Malcolm Butler intercepted.
P Ryan Allen put the Texans in awful field position all night and pinned the Texans back at their 20 yard line. A Jabaal Sheard sack forced the Texans towards their goal line and a punt gave the Patriots the ball on the Texans side of the field.
Blount promptly ran the ball 41 yards into the end zone to give the Patriots a 27-0 lead.
The Texans drove down the field again, but failed to convert on a 4th and 2 and the Patriots punted the ball back to pin the Texans on their own 5 yard line.
The Patriots forced yet another fourth down failure to gain possession and run down the clock and secure the win.
This 27-0 victory was the Patriots first shutout since week 17 of 2012 when they blanked the Dolphins 28-0.
The Patriots move on to 3-0 and will have a long week of rest before they host the Buffalo Bills in the last game before Tom Brady returns to the field.