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Defense gets 2 INT, 2 sacks vs. Patriots

Tom Brady threw two interceptions during the 2016 regular season.

The Texans picked him off as many times on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.

Brady and the Patriots triumphed by a 34-16 margin, but the future Pro Football Hall of Famer completed just 18 of his 38 pass attempts, and was also sacked twice.

"We understand that he loves to throw the short stuff, so we just added a little bit extra to the coverage, that's about it," linebacker Whitney Mercilus said of the Texans defensive strategy. "Make him hold the ball, and we got a couple sacks that way, but it just wasn't enough."

Brady, however, was able to complete five passes of 25 yards or more in the game. In the second quarter, he linked up with Julian Edelman for a 48-yard completion and Chris Hogan for a 45-yarder.

But for much of the night the Texans defense harassed Brady, and cornerback A.J. Bouye explained how.

"Just disguised," Bouye said. "Play tight coverage. It comes with film sudy. We've seen certain formations where we knew the routes were coming. Even if they weren't, we just played with our leverage and the rush was getting there. We were able to capitalize on some, but we weren't able to capitalize on all of them."

In addition to the pair of sacks, the Houston defense rang up eight hits on Brady.

"That was part of our gameplan: to get in there, try to affect him with the rush," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "I thought our guys did a great job of that."

Linebacker Brian Cushing tallied one of the sacks on Brady.

"That was one of our main goals, to get a lot of pressure on him," Cushing said. "Keep him kind of unbalanced and guessing and really not getting a good read on our defense. We did a pretty good job of that."

The Texans and Patriots faced each other in the Divisional Playoff at Gillette Stadium.

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