|New England Patriots||3||0||6||13||22|
It has been eight games across nearly a decade since the Texans last beat the Patriots, five games winless for head coach Bill O’Brien, and two games winless for Deshaun Watson. Bill O’Brien is the exception to the rule that Belichick must lose one game to his former assistants. However, Watson’s first game against the Patriots was an electrifying near-win and his second game was a rusty affair coming back from an injury. It seemed more likely than ever before for Houston to break that streak.
The Patriots began this game grinding their way to a Kai Forbath (the fourth kicker for the Patriots this year, Folk had a sudden case of exploding appendix) field goal. Brady followed that drive up with a bad pick. You can see N’Keal Harry stumble in the route, allowing the defender to jump it. Brady never threw the ball his way again this game. The Texans immediately capitalized and Watson was unstoppable the following drive too.
In the second half, the Patriots found themselves down 14-3. In the second game all year that the defense could not hard carry, a fire was finally lit under the Patriots. The ball started moving. The points started coming. Somewhere, a falcon cry of anguish could be heard. But it was just too little, too late. The Texans hold on to win this one. Bill beats Bill for the first time and the Patriots drop to the second seed in the AFC.
Seeing the last three drives made New England fans wonder where that proficiency was all year, and especially the last few games. Twelve out of sixteen quarters of offensive ineptitude is not a normal event for Tom Brady. The Houston Texans, unlike the Ravens, would fall into the trap of playing one of their best game of the year against the Patriots and follow it up with a stinker against a worse team, getting slapped by the Broncos. The Patriots returned to Foxborough for a top of the AFC Clash and AFC Conference Championship rematch against the Kansas City Chiefs.