The New England Patriots defeated the Houston Texans, 27-20, during the NFL’s first full Sunday of action.
PFF’s ReFocused series this season features immediate takeaways and a key to the victory from two Senior Analysts who graded the performance, watching every player, on every play of the game. For more data and analysis from the game, utilize our Premium Stats 2.0 dashboard to expand your knowledge on the key players, signature stats and much more.
New England Patriots 27, Houston Texans 20
In spite of a fumble and benefitting from a dubious completion that went unreviewed late in the second quarter, this was still a vintage Rob Gronkowski display. Matched up against a variety of Texans’ defenders, simply put, none of them could meet the physical challenge of keeping Gronk away from the ball. Up the seam or on back shoulder throws, there simply was no match for Gronkowski, who hit the ground running to help the Patriots on their way to another victory.
Not in the limelight, but Phillip Dorsett put up a strong performance that included his first touchdown since Week 15 in 2016. Often pigeon-holed as a deep receiver due to his speed, Dorsett did his best work in the short and intermediate areas today contributing to Kevin Johnson‘s rough outing both with his route running and his work after the catch. With Julian Edelman out for another three weeks, Dorsett figures to have plentiful opportunities in the weeks to come.
It was a multi-pressure outing for Trey Flowers to open the season, who followed Julie’n Davenport from left to right and generally made his day a misery on both sides. Flowers extends his streak of recording multiple pressures in a game, which stretches back to the Patriots’…