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State of the Patriots: Week 3, 2017

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Transitioning from the Patriots Week 2 win over the Saints and looking ahead to the Patriots Week 3 game against the Texans.

NFL: New England Patriots at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots 36, Saints 20: Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski posted monster games with the former throwing for 447 yards and 3 first quarter TDs. The Patriots defense was stingy in plus territory, allowing only 3 drives inside the Patriots 20 yard line even though the Saints picked up 429 total yards of offense. Injuries continued to pile up although this week’s batch of injuries seem less severe than the ones suffered in Week 1. Rookie edge rusher Deatrich Wise Jr. picked up a sack, hit Drew Brees 5 times, and had an overall good day in run defense as well.

Pats Pulpit Recap

Injury Situations:

  • Obviously the big one is with TE Rob Gronkowski. Gronk left the game in the 3rd quarter with a groin injury, which may have happened when two guys fell on top of him. The Patriots will be working to see if he’s available for the next game because of how bad they struggled against the Texans defense without him back in January.
  • RB Rex Burkhead played only four offensive series with the team and left with a rib injury in the 3rd quarter. He did play on the punt return unit in the first minute of the first quarter. It’s also entirely possible that play happened before they took a look at the injury in the locker room.
  • WR Phillip Dorsett suffered a knee injury in the 4th quarter of the game after putting up 3 catches for 68 yards. Dorsett went into the medical tent and did not return in the game. With the Patriots running out of receivers, that’s an injury to monitor as the season progresses.
  • WR Chris Hogan didn’t finish the game and was seen with his right knee wrapped in ice. Hogan had soreness in that same knee in training camp and something that’s probably been nagging him since. However, considering the treatment was only ice, I don’t see it as serious right now.
  • LB Dont’a Hightower’s MCL sprain is considered minor and he should be back in the lineup in 1-2 weeks. The Patriots will need their defensive captain back on the field as the schedule gets tougher down the road.
  • Slot Receiver Danny Amendola left the season opener with a concussion and knee problems after returning a punt. The concussion is his third since entering the NFL, although the previous two concussions weren’t major in severity. The injury report this week will hopefully shed some light. I wouldn’t be surprised if he missed another game.

We’re onto Houston: The Patriots play the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium. The Texans haven’t looked great in their two games so far, but the Patriots better be prepared for the Texans to play their best game of the year. Deshaun Watson will be the starter for Houston, which the Patriots have very little game tape on, but they also have joint practices from August to rely on as well. The Texans still have a very tough defense to navigate through although their top 2 CBs, Kevin Johnson and Jonathan Joseph, could end up missing the game. It will be interesting to see if the Patriots are able to exploit the replacement players.