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NFL Houston TexansNew England Patriots

New England Patriots Must Neutralize Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt Sunday

J.J. Watt

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

J.J. Watt is a phenomenal football player. Since being drafted by the Houston Texans in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, he has 35.5 sacks to go along with seven forced fumbles in his career, and is a player offenses have to account for on every play, whether it is a pass or run.

For the New England Patriots, stopping him is of vital importance this week. Given the fact that the secondary for the Texans is inconsistent, especially at the safety position, the Patriots will most likely want to expose that weakness deep down the field in the game. Unfortunately for them, if the offensive line cannot contain Watt, Brady will not have enough time to take advantage of certain mismatches in the secondary.

The Pats are especially thin on the offensive line right now with Marcus Cannon and Sebastian Vollmer both hurt. As a result, Will Svitek will start at right tackle for them this week. On the bright side, Nate Solder is healthy, so at least they won’t have to worry about Brady’s blind side too much and can focus more on Watt’s side of the defensive line.

The question in terms of this matchup will be whether they can double Watt enough on the right side of the line while still running their plays effectively.  In any case, we will find out where the team’s offensive line stands after the game on Sunday.

Will Gellman is a New England Patriots’ writer for RantSports.com.  Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.