The New England Patriots eked out a narrow win over the Houston Texans today, winning 25-22 on a Nick Folk field goal. But injuries along the offensive line made the win a lot harder than people expected it to – a fact not lost on Bill Belichick.
Speaking to the media after the game, Belichick reflected on having to play four backup offensive linemen. He said that the last time he coached a game with that many backups was during the strike-shortened 1987 season. And even Belichick said that should really count.
Injuries and COVID-19 decimated Belichick’s offensive line this week. Starting center David Andrews was the only starter who was fit to play. Left tackle Isaiah Wynn, left guard Mike Onwenu, right guard Shaq Mason and right tackle Trent Brown were all absent.
Fortunately for the Patriots, the makeshift offensive line held up well. They allowed just one sack on rookie quarterback Mac Jones, who went 23 of 30 for 231 yards and a touchdown.
Bill Belichick said the only time he can remember playing with four backup O-linemen was in the replacement games during 1987.
“But you can’t even count that. So, no.”
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) October 10, 2021
The New England Patriots are now 2-3 on the season. They’re second in the AFC East and one game behind the Buffalo Bills, who play the Kansas City Chiefs tonight.
Getting a win over the Texans with so many of his starting players out may wind up being bigger for Bill Belichick than we realized when all is said and done.
The Patriots play the Dallas Cowboys next weekend at Gillette Stadium.
Will Belichick have all of his offensive linemen healthy for that game?
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