A rundown of everything you need to know before kickoff this Sunday

The Patriots will host the Texans at Gillette Stadium for the regular season opener.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady passes under pressure from Houston Texans J.J. Watt during the first quarter at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas December 1, 2013. (Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe)
Tom Brady pressured by J.J. Watt in 2013. –Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

Texans (0-0) at Patriots (0-0)

Sunday, 1p.m. ET, CBS

Opening Line – Patriots by 6 1/2

Record vs. spread – Texans 7-9, Patriots 12-7

Series record – Patriots lead 9-1

Last meeting – Patriots beat Texans 36-33, Sept. 24, 2017

AP Pro32 ranking – Texans No. 12, Patriots No. 2

Texans offense — Overall (20), Rush (14), Pass (21).

Texans defense — Overall (20), Rush (13), Pass (24).

Patriots offense — Overall (1), Rush (10), Pass (2).

Patriots defense — Overall (29), Rush (20), Pass (30).

Streaks, stats and notes

  • The two teams are facing off for fourth straight year in regular season.


  • Head coach Bill O’Brien was a New England assistant from 2007-11. He is 0-3 against his former team.
  • Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson set franchise rookie records with 19 touchdown passes and 103 QB rating last season before tearing his right ACL in November.
  • Watson had 19 touchdown passes in seven games, most in NFL history by rookie in first seven games.
  • He passed for 301 yards and two touchdowns in last year’s loss to New England.
  • Defensive end J.J. Watt has 76 career sacks, second most in NFL since entering league in 2011.
  • Watt has appeared in just eight games in last two seasons after suffering herniated disc in 2016 and fracturing left tibia last season.
  • Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney had career-high 9 1/2 sacks and ranked second in NFL with 21 tackles for loss last season. In three career meetings with Patriots, Clowney has four sacks, six tackles for loss and forced fumble.
  • Linebacker Whitney Mercilus has 3 1/2 sacks in past five meetings. He played in only five games in 2017 before tearing his pectoral in October.
  • Linebacker Benardrick McKinney led team with 95 tackles in 2017.
  • Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins led NFL with career-high and franchise-record 13 touchdown receptions in 2017.
  • Hopkins needs one reception to extend streak to 80 consecutive games with reception to start his career.
  • Wide receiver Will Fuller V had career-high seven touchdown catches in 2017.
  • Texans are one of four teams Patriots own undefeated regular-season home record (4-0) against.


  • Patriots have won last five regular-season meetings and are 4-0 at home vs. Texans.
  • Quarterback Tom Brady, now 41, passed for 378 yards and five touchdowns in last meeting. He has 1,371 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and interceptions in past four meetings.
  • Tight end Rob Gronkowski led NFL tight ends with 1,084 receiving yards in 2017. He has three touchdown catches in four career meetings with Texans.
  • Safety Devin McCourty led team with career-high 94 tackles last season.
  • Defensive end Adrian Clayborn had career-high 9 1/2 sacks with Falcons last season as was signed as free agent.
  • Linebacker Kyle Van Noy had career-high 11 tackles in last meeting with Texans.

Fantasy Tip

Brady owns 8-1 record against Texans, passing for 22 touchdowns and 2,565 yards (regular season and playoffs).