FOXBORO - For the second consecutive year, the Texans’ season ended with a road loss in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
The Texans lost 41-28 to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, coming up one victory short of hosting the AFC Championship Game in Houston.
"There’s no good landing in this business unless you’re playing a few weeks from now (in the Super Bowl),” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “Other than that, the landing’s a crash. It’s tough. I’ve been doing this a long time. It’s very difficult. I’m proud of my team; they played their hearts out tonight. But we had to make a few more plays to move on to next week, so I’m just very disappointed right now.”
The Texans scored 10 points in the final 1:15 of the second quarter, including a 55-yard field goal by
“I think that we had seized the momentum (at halftime), but they made a couple big plays coming out of the half to kind of send it in their favor,” Texans defensive end
Texans running back
“The thing that that jumps at me is I think we must have had five third-and-10s in the first half and they had ‘em, too, and they made ‘em and we didn’t,” Kubiak said. “They made some great plays. And when you get in this environment and when you get in games like this, you’ve got to step up and make those type of plays. And I think we had our opportunities. You’ve got to give ‘em credit for what they did. That’s what you’ve gotta match if you’re going to find a way to beat ‘em.”
The game started with a 94-yard kickoff return by Texans safety
“We want to go out there and put seven in that situation, and they held us to three,” Schaub said. “We can’t settle down there, especially against a team like this in their building. We’ve got to get sevens down there.”
The Patriots then stormed out to a 17-3 lead with a one-yard touchdown run by Vereen, a 37-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski and an eight-yard touchdown catch by Vereen with 3:38 left in the first half.
Foster ran for a one-yard touchdown with 1:15 remaining in the second quarter to cap a five-play, 47-yard scoring drive. The Texans’ defense forced a three-and-out, and Graham made a career-long 55-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter.
That was the closest the Texans would get. Patriots running back Stevan Ridley ran eight yards for a touchdown on the first series of the third quarter. Schaub was picked off by defensive lineman Rob Ninkovich at the New England 31-yard line with 4:14 left in the period. The Patriots converted the turnover into seven points with a five-yard touchdown catch by receiver Brandon Lloyd.
Down 31-13 early in the fourth quarter, the Texans went for it twice on fourth-and-one from deep in their own territory. They converted the first one – barely, after replay review – with a one-yard run by Foster from the Houston 23-yard line. Four plays later, Schaub threw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-one. Brady capitalized with a 33-yard scoring pass to Vereen on the next play.
The Texans made it 38-20 less than two minutes later with a 25-yard touchdown catch by rookie wide receiver
After a three-and-out by the Patriots, the Texans drove 79 yards in 11 plays for a touchdown. Foster caught a one-yard scoring pass from Schaub on fourth-and-goal, and Johnson made a leaping catch on the two-point conversion to make it 38-28 with 5:11 remaining. The Patriots recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran 3:57 off the clock, ending up with a 38-yard field goal with 1:14 remaining for the game’s final score.
“We didn’t play a good game and they played a very good game, and they’re moving on and we’re not,” Watt said. “So congrats to them. Losing, I can’t stand it. I can’t stand any aspect of it. The taste in your mouth is terrible. We lost, we’re not going home and we’re not going on. Congratulations to them. They deserve all the credit."