Yellow flags littered the field on Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The Texans committed 10 penalties for a total of 89 yards, and the miscues were pointed to as a key to defeat by Bill O'Brien.
"We had too many penalties," the head coach said. "We had holding calls. We had three of the same calls on special teams. I thought penalties really hurt us in the game."
Houston was penalized six times for 55 yards in the first half of the 30-21 defeat.
"Yeah, there were a few that definitely take you back," quarterback Brian Hoyer said. "When it's second and 15 or whatever it is, so we need to find a way to eliminate those. The one thing is, it isn't the pre-snap mental error penalties, it's the physical ones which you can definitely correct those."
The Texans came into the game committing an average of 6.7 penalties a contest, and over their last three, they'd only been flagged an average of 4.7 per.
"Very uncharacteristic of us," receiver Nate Washington said. "We just have to be better. It was one of those days I think."
The 6-6 Texans will host the 10-2 Patriots next Sunday night at NRG Stadium.