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Texans fall 34-16 to Patriots

The Texans fell 34-16 to the New England Patriots in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs. In a closely contested game, Houston was within one score of the Patriots in the fourth quarter, but fell behind after two turnovers in the final period.

The Texans defense forced three turnovers of its own, including two interceptions of Tom Brady. A.J. Bouye and Andre Hal picked off the Patriots quarterback, who had just two interceptions all season. Houston scored 13 points off takeaways. Whitney Mercilus and Brian Cushing each had a sack and combined for four quarterback hits on Brady.

Houston's defense held New England under 100 yards rushing, but big plays plagued the Texans, including a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Dion Lewis. Lewis scored three touchdowns, one receiving, one rushing, and the aforementioned return. Brady completed 18-of-38 for 287 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and had a passer rating of 68.6.

Brock Osweiler completed 23-of-40 for 198 yards, throwing one touchdown and three interceptions. DeAndre Hopkins led all Texans receivers with six catches for 65 yards. C.J. Fiedorowicz scored the lone touchdown and had three receptions for 36 yards. Nick Novak was 3-of-3 on field goals from 33, 27, and 46 yards.

After a defensive pass interference call, Tom Brady threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Dion Lewis. The Patriots took an early 7-0 lead with 9:27 left in the first quarter.

The Texans responded, moving the ball down the field into scoring range. Nick Novak kicked a 33-yard field goal to give Houston its first points of the game.

The ensuing kickoff resulted in a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Lewis. Patriots took a 14-3 lead with 1:00 left in the first quarter.

The Texans then scored 10 points off two takeaways in the second quarter.

On the Patriots next offensive series, Bouye picked off Brady, giving the Texans possession at the New England 27-yard line. Six plays later, Novak added a 27-yard field goal.

The Texans scored again after recovering the ensuing kickoff in the red zone. Akeem Dent forced a fumble on Lewis' return, which was recovered by Eddie Pleasant at the Patriots 12-yard line. Two plays later, Osweiler connected with Fiedorowicz on a 10-yard touchdown pass. The Texans trailed 14-13 with 10:49 left in the second quarter.

Brady threw a deep 48-yard pass to Julian Edelman to move the Patriots into Houston territory. The Texans defense put up a goal-line stand to hold New England to a field goal. Gostkowksi's 19-yard field goal gave the Patriots a 17-13 lead heading into halftime.

After the Texans defense forced a three-and-out on the opening drive of the second half, Brady orchestrated a scoring drive with back-to-back first downs to Edelman. James White caught a 19-yard touchdown pass to cap off the nine-play, 90-yard drive to extend the Patriots lead to 11.

Andre Hal picked off Brady later in the quarter, which lead to a Novak's 46-yard field goal.

Osweiler threw his second interception of the game when Logan Ryan picked off his pass. Brady and the Patriots took over at the Houston 6-yard line following Ryan's 23-yard return. Lewis scored on a one-yard rushing touchdown. The Patriots took a 31-16 lead with 12:16 left in the fourth quarter. Gostkowski added a 43-yard field goal as New England pulled away 34-16.

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

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