The anticipation is growing for the much-awaited preseason NFL face-offs as Week 1 opens with a series of intriguing games. Among these, the duel between the Texans and Patriots is set to take place on Thursday, August 10, marking the kickoff of the preseason. The game between the Vikings and the Seahawks is to follow.
Texans vs. Patriots: A Snapshot of the Game
The upcoming battle between the Texans and Patriots is less about crowning a victor and more about predicting dynamics. NFL fans don’t foresee either team topping their respective divisions, painting a rather dim picture for both. Houston faces the longest odds to emerge as the champions of the AFC South at +800, paralleled by the Patriots’ equally slim +800 odds to claim the AFC East.
Mac Jones, continuing as the team’s quarterback, accentuates the reliance on the defense, a trend that even existed during Brady’s tenure. New England has historically avoided placing exceptional talent around their quarterbacks. This philosophy has manifested even more in recent years, with one wide receiver achieving 1,000 yards in five seasons.
The Patriots also maintain a versatile array of running backs, so they are far from extraordinary in that position as well. Similarly, the Houston Texans have gone downhill, ranking among the NFL’s weakest teams since Deshaun Watson’s last play for them. Their response? Drafting QB CJ Stroud with the second overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The idea of Stroud facing a Belichick defense is daunting for Texans fans.
Houston’s struggle is due to more than just their new quarterback. They wrapped up last season with a mere 289 points, tying for the second-fewest in the NFL. Further changes include the hiring of new head coach DeMeco Ryans, formerly the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers. His defensive focus is already apparent. Given these factors, the most insightful Texans vs. Patriots prediction for this match seems to be under 38.5 points.
That’s likely, given the fact that there’s not much reason for the teams to exert themselves. The Texans are in as favorites, and will take today’s game.
Vikings vs. Seahawks: Unpacking the Match
The preseason typically sees the starters benched. For both the Vikings and Seahawks, two teams expected to have underwhelming defensive lines this season, this could mean subpar results unless you appreciate offense. Seattle’s lack of playmakers on defense, even among the starters, affects both their pass rush and run-stop capabilities.
Their recent drafting of CB Devon Witherspoon is probably not the answer. Minnesota’s already weak defense worsened during the offseason, losing key players and using their first-round draft pick on wide receiver Jordan Addison. Hence, one can predict a high-scoring match.
In football, the quarterback’s role is paramount. Considering the starters likely won’t play much, one must analyze the backup quarterbacks. With Nick Mullens for Minnesota and Drew Lock for Seattle having decent NFL experience, they are expected to bring in most of the points.
The Vikings are the underdog in this game, which carries an Over/Under of 35. The average Over/Under for the NFL preseason is 36.5, and both of these teams know how to put up the points. The Seahawks seem to be in a better position offensively as the season gets going, and backing them on the spread will pay off, as well.