Final Score: Patriots 27, Texans 6
December 13, 2015
Rounding out the weekend NFL schedule on “Sunday Night Football” in Week 14, we had a key AFC matchup on our hands between the Patriots and Texans. New England was coming off their second straight loss, this one at the hands of the Eagles. Houston dropped a game to the Bills in Week 13. Both teams needed a win here pretty badly, but it was pretty much all Patriots the entire game.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the key players and stats from this game so we can figure out why things happened the way they did. Afterward, we’ll look forward to Week 15 to see what’s in store for both teams.
What Happened: The Patriots got on the board first in what would be an up-and-down offensive evening for them. Tom Brady hooked up with Keshawn Martin for a 2-yard TD pass and a 7-0 lead. The Texans would get a 37-yard Nick Novak field goal for a four-point Pats edge at the end of one.
The teams traded field goals in the second, with Stephen Gostkowski nailing one from 43 yards out and Novak managing a 45-yarder. That would prove to be as close as the Texans would get, however, as Brady hooked up with Rob Gronkowski for a 1-yard TD pass that made it 17-6 at halftime.
The Patriots offense stalled out in the second half, as the only third-quarter score was a Gostkowski field goal from 49 yards out.
In the fourth, James White ran in a 2-yard touchdown following a Texans fumble, making it 27-6. That’s the way it would stay , as the Patriots clinched a playoff berth and move to 11-2 on the season.
The Texans fall to 6-7 but are still in the mix for a division championship in the terrible AFC South.
The Stars: Brady always seems to put up solid numbers, and this game was no different. He had a 22-of-30 line for 226 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Gronkowski, his favorite target, finished with four grabs for 87 yards and the TD. Danny Amendola caught six balls for 46 yards.
The Pats defense was great in the second half, snagging a pair of strip-sacks on Brian Hoyer. They’d finish with six sacks on the evening.
The Goats: Believe it or not, the Texans had multiple opportunities to take control of this game, but simply couldn’t get it done on offense. They were able to post just 189 total net yards with a 3-of-16 mark on third and fourth downs.
Brian Hoyer would finish with just 11-of-22 passing for 155 yards. His main target DeAndre Hopkins was held in check with just three grabs for 52 yards. Amazingly, that led the team.
Injuries: The Patriots suffered even more injuries in this game, and to some key players on both sides of the ball. LeGarrette Blount (hip), Jonathan Freeney (wrist), Devin McCourt (ankle) and Derrick Beasley (leg) were all hurt in this one.
Brian Hoyer also came out after a tough sack in the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a concussion.
Outlook: Looking ahead to Week 15, both teams will be back in action on Sunday, December 20 at 1:00 PM ET on CBS. The Patriots will face the incoming Titans, while the Texans will travel to Indy for the Colts.
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