HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – The Texans knew they’d be playing the New England Patriots without Tom Brady, but backup Jimmy Garappolo injured his shoulder Sunday against the Dolphins. That will reportedly keep him out of Thursday’s game at Gillete Stadium. If you think that means the Texans are going to take the Patriots lightly, you’d be wrong.
“One thing I know, (Bill) Belichick will have that team ready to play, I guarantee you that one,” Texans nose tackle Vince Wilfork said after the Texans 19-12 win over the Chiefs Sunday. “If anybody’s hanging their hat on thinking we’re gonna get a Patriots team that is going to lay down, they’re crazy.”
Jacoby Brissett, drafted in the third round this year out of North Carolina State, finished today’s 31-24 win over Miami and completed 6-of-9 passes for 92 yards, while rushing for 12. He is the only other quarterback on the Patriots active roster.
“It seems like whoever fills in for those guys up there seem to always do a good job,” Texans cornerback Jonathan Joseph said. “You can look back over the last eight years anytime Brady hasn’t been in there they’ve had somebody step in and pick up the pieces.
New England is 2-0 this season despite being without Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski, and won as a 9-point underdog last week in Arizona. Many around the league are surprised it 2-0, but having spent 11 seasons as a Patriot, Wilfork is not one of those people.
“They find a way to win, good teams do,” he said. “I think a lot of people wrote them off early in the year because of (Brady) not being there, and I guess they shocked a lot of people, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t shock anyone in that building.”
“They’re very capable if winning a lot of ballgames, playing a lot of good football. Good players and great coaches up that way.”
Wilfork knows the only way the Texans can win in Foxboro for the first time in franchise history they’ll have to be at their best.
“We definitely have to be on our A-game going to Gillette (Stadium), one of the toughest buildings to play in, and they pride themselves on winning at home.”