The Texans led by as many as ten points but were unable to break their losing streaking, falling to New England 34-31 at Reliant Stadium on Sunday.
Despite being underdogs at home, the Texans were locked in a shootout that saw five lead changes and one tie. Houston scored first and led 17-7 at halftime.
In the second half, the Patriots offense came alive and outscored Houston 27-14 with three touchdowns and a pair of long-range field goals. The Texans added two more rushing touchdowns, including one by quarterback
Tate's eight-yard touchdown run gave the Texans an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter. It capped a five-play, 52-yard drive.
The Texans defense forced a three-and-out for the Patriots on their opening series. Their second drive ended when
After a six-play, 55-yard drive, the Brady found Rob Gronkowki for the first Patriots' score of the game. Gronkowski rolled over while catching the 23-yarder. The Texans’ lead was cut to three points with 1:25 remaining in the first quarter.
"It was an adjustment," Brady said. "He was covered early and wheeled out of the route and made a great catch."
Houston’s next offensive series led to Keenum’s first and only interception of the game. After being sacked for a loss of eight yards by Patriots tackle Isaac Sopoaga, Keenum found himself in trouble just two plays later. With pressure coming from the Patriots, Keenum made his next throw while falling and the pass, intended for
New England attempted a 55-yard field goal which was wide right. The Patriots' drive ended after
Tate scored his second touchdown of the day with 1:47 remaining of the first half to cap off a seven-play, 55 yard drive that spanned 3:03. Houston led the Patriots 17-7 with 1:47 remaining in the second quarter.
In the second half, New England scored on five of their six possessions. Brady wasted no time adding touchdowns on his first three drives of the half. On the Patriots’ opening drive of the third quarter,
On the Patriots’ second possession of the third quarter, Shane Vereen added another touchdown on a nine-yard pass from Brady on the following possession for New England. The Patriots took the lead, 21-17, for the first time with 8:06 remaining in the third quarter.
Keenum fired back with a drive that included 28 and 9-yard completions to Johnson and a successful quarterback sneak on third-and-1. On the next third-and-1, Gary Kubiak dialed up a play with three receivers lined up and empty backfield. Keenum ran five yards to the left side of the endzone and scored his first career rushing touchdown. The Texans regained their lead 24-21 following a ten-play, 81-yard drive with 2:11 left in the third quarter.
"It was a designed quarterback run," Keenum said. "Our whole line did a great job blocking. We had two receivers over there that did a great job too, and I've been looking forward to spiking it for a while."
"We knew they were going to change it up and go man-to-man in the second half because we were beating them with the zone in the first half," Hopkins said. "It was a good call by Kub (Kubiak), and we made the play happen."
Gostowksi made a pair of 53-yard field goals in consecutive drives. The first kick tied the score 31-31 and the second gave the Patriots the lead with 3:12 remaining in the game.
On the Texans’ next drive of the game, Keenum completed two passes to Andre Johnson for 10 and 15 yard gains. But the drive ended on a fourth-and-12 when Keenum was unable to escape a sack by New England.
With one timeout remaining, Houston’s defense held New England to three-and-out. Houston received the ball with 12 seconds remaining. Two plays and two incompletions later, the game was over.
Keenum was 15-of-30 for 272 yards, one rushing touchdown, and one interception. Brady completed 29-of-41 passes for 371 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception for a passer rating of 104.8. Gronkowski caught six passes for 127 yards and one touchdown. Julian Edelman added 101 yards on nine receptions.