Which team has the best special teams unit and head coach?
This competition is complicated because neither team is particularly strong in this department. The Patriots field one of the best gunners in the game with Matthew Slater, but they haven’t found a solution at kicker since Stephen Gostkowski‘s injury. Kai Forbath has a solid 85.7 percent accuracy in his career but was only signed by the team this week.
Ka’imi Fairbairn is consistent, but only in the fact that he consistently misses kicks beyond 49 yards and extra points when they matter. Both punters are elite, so we’ll call that a toss-up. Just to be fair to both teams this is a draw.
Coaching: Bill O’Brien vs. Bill Belichick
Prodigy vs. Protege. Master vs. Teacher. A man of few words vs. a man with too much power. Bill Belichick is one of the greatest coaches of all-time, and he features the best offensive coordinator in the game (Josh McDaniels).
Despite his time as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator, Bill O’Brien does little to inspire confidence against his former team in terms of strategy. This one is easy.
Advantage: New England Patriots
Final Totals: Patriots 6, Texans 3
Despite both being division leaders and having incredibly talented rosters, the Patriots are the class of the NFL. They will be unbelievably challenging to beat even at NRG Stadium, but this fully depends on the Texans’ ability to pressure Brady and force him out of his comfort zone on Sunday Night Football