The Texans came close to beating the Patriots. So close.
They held a five-point lead with 24 seconds left in regulation. But a Tom Brady touchdown strike to Brandin Cooks gave them a 36-33 win. The five previous trips to New England resulted in five losses by an average score of 37-13.
It was much closer this time around, but it meant very little to the coaches and players.
"There are no moral victories," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "It's pro football. You either win or you lose."
Defensive end J.J. Watt, who tallied a pair of tackles for loss and was constantly double-teamed by Patriots' blockers, said it didn't matter how close the Texans got to a victory.
"I don't care how you lose, it sucks," defensive end J.J. Watt said. "They threw a touchdown. We lost. It sucked."
Jadeveon Clowney, who finished with a pair of sacks, four tackles for loss, and a fumble recovery for a score, echoed Watt's disappointment.
"It's very tough," Clowney said. "You don't want to lose a game like that, especially with 23 seconds left on the clock."
The Texans will host the Titans in Week 4 next Sunday at NRG Stadium.
The Texans faced the Patriots in Week 3 at Gillette Stadium.