FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Texans trailed the Patriots from the first quarter and New England turned it on in the second half as Houston's season ended with a 34-16 defeat Saturday night in an AFC divisional round playoff game.
The Texans arrived in Foxborough as huge underdogs and winless all-time at Gillette Stadium, and the Patriots got to work early on a Tom Brady touchdown pass to Dion Lewis for 13 yards to make it 7-0. Then after a Nick Novak 33-yard field goal made it 7-3, on the ensuing kickoff Lewis returned it 98 yards for a New England touchdown and a 14-3 lead.
In the second quarter, Texans defensive back A.J. Bouye intercepted Brady, but the Texans had to settle for a Novak 27-yard FG that made it 14-6.
Then on the ensuing kickoff, the Patriots fumbled the football to again give it right back to Houston.
At that point it took only two plays for the Texans to punch it in on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Brock Osweiler to tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz that cut New England's lead to 14-13.
The Texans defense played well all of the first half, allowing just one touchdown while special teams gave up the other Patriots touchdown on the Lewis kickoff return.
The Texans defense allowed the Patriots only 156 yards of total offense, while the Texans put up only 143. The Texans have also put some pressure on Brady with sacks from both Brian Cushing and Whitney Mercilus, along with plenty of disruption from JaDeveon Clowney.
At the half, the Texans trailed the Patriots 17-13 after a Stephen Gostkowski field goal.
The Patriots extended their lead to 24-13 after Brady hit James White for a 19-yard TD with just over nine minutes left in the third quarter.
Early in the fourth quarter after an Andre Hal interception of Brady, Novak hit a FG to cut the lead to 24-16.
But a Logan Ryan interception of Osweiler got the Patriots down near the goal line, then Lewis punched in his third TD of the night and the Texans were down 31-16.
Another Gostkowski field goal gave the Patriots a 34-16 lead with around six minutes remaining in the game.
Osweiler finished 23-40 for 198 yards with 1 TD and 3 interceptions. Lamar Miller had 73 yards rushing while DeAndre Hopkins had 65 yards receiving.
The Pats, now 8-1 overall against the Texans, entered the game as 15 1/2-point favorites over Houston -- just the sixth time since 1966 that a team has been favored by at least 15 points in a playoff game.
In the five previous occasions only one underdog -- the New York Jets in Joe Namath's Super Bowl guarantee -- won the game.