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WR Nate Washington - New England Patriots

6-1, 185Born: 8-28-1983College: TiffinDrafted: ---

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Week 3: vs Houston Texans

All WR vs HOU

FBG says: Good matchup. Tom Brady's Week 2 - however inflated it was by the horrid New Orleans "defense" - showed definitively that he can excel even with a depleted group of pass-catchers. Down to just three healthy wideouts (plus special-teamer Matt Slater), Brady carved up the Saints for 447 yards and 3 touchdowns on 30-of-39 passing. There's no one more adept at utilizing the right weapon at the right time. There is indeed a blueprint to slowing Brady: hefty, organic pressure from an aggressive front seven that allows its secondary to win the numbers game in the intermediate areas. But that's easier said than done, considering Brady's rocket-speed release and the team's strong pass-blocking line. New addition Brandin Cooks will look to get on track in Week 3, while Chris Hogan will help test the Texans' banged-up secondary on the boundary. Rob Gronkowski was dazzling against the Saints, but may be marginalized in the game plan against Houston's elite tight-end defense. It's hard to gauge the progress of Houston's pass defense. Through two games, they've faced the league's two most anemic passing games: Blake Bortles and the Jaguars in Week 1, followed by a Bengals "attack" that has already fired its offensive coordinator. From what we can tell, though, this pass defense looks similar to last year's dominant unit - and it's hard to overstate the return of J.J. Watt. With Watt on board, the Texans boast at least four dynamic pass rushers. And the loss of cornerback A.J. Bouye hasn't been felt much: the Texans held A.J. Green largely in check last Thursday, allowing a 50-yard deep ball but just 17 yards on his other 7 targets. Unfortunately, they'll press on without the services of cornerback Kevin Johnson, who sprained his MCL in Week 2, for awhile. His snaps will be filled by 34-year-old Jonathan Joseph and special-teams specialist Marcus Burley. It's not a big downgrade, but a noticeable one, especially with a high-octane Patriots offense on tap. And Joseph may be limited Sunday by a Week 2 shoulder injury of his own.

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Schedule

3vs Houston Texans
4vs Carolina Panthers
5@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6@ New York Jets
7vs Atlanta Falcons
8vs Los Angeles Chargers
9--- BYE WEEK ---
10@ Denver Broncos
11@ Oakland Raiders
12vs Miami Dolphins
13@ Buffalo Bills
14@ Miami Dolphins
15@ Pittsburgh Steelers
16vs Buffalo Bills
17vs New York Jets