Patriots vs. Texans Live Game Day Thread: Week 13
It’s been a long week for the New England Patriots. From the flu knocking down key players, to an incredibly long questionable list at one point during this past week, getting to Texas has looked stressful. Coming off of another sloppy victory in Week 12 over the Dallas Cowboys, the Patriots (10-1) are on the road to battle against the Houston Texans (7-4).
Quarterback Tom Brady has been visibly agitated at his last two press conferences; when the offense is supposed to come together, they’ve had trouble all season. Brady is looking a little worse for wear out on the field, with inconsistent pocket protection as he looks for a receiver before having to throw the ball away at a higher than normal rate for the 42-year-old QB. Brady has also been experiencing elbow issues on and off, and having key players off the field last week definitely didn’t make his job easier.
Adding onto a rough week was kicker Nick Folk, who had an appendectomy Thursday morning, so tonight Kai Forbath will be taking the field in his Patriots debut; Forbath is their fourth kicker of the season. Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu is expected to play this week, as is Phillip Dorsett. Adding them back into the mix with Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, and Jakobi Meyers bring hope that New England's offense will finally play like we've been waiting for.
As usual, New England's defense has been putting in overtime on the field, making up where the offense has fallen flat. The Boogeymen were ready to go against Dallas, so it’s assumed that against Houston, it’s just another Texas smackdown. Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson better have his eyes open and his line ready for the defense, who has found gaps left and right to sack quarterbacks as the weeks have gone by. Watson has an arm and an affinity for throwing a deep ball, but interceptions come early and often for the Patriots secondary, who can and will snag a ball out of the air faster than the other team can say “uh-oh.”
The AFC showdown kicks off at 8:20 pm EST at NRG Field in Houston.
15:00 Patriots win the toss and defer, Bailey to kick off.
14:19 Texans take their first timeout; with a slip and fall and incomplete pass in less than a minute, we're in for an interesting night.
14:12 Hightower comes in fast, breaking up any opportunity for Watson to do anything other than throw the ball away.
12:49 Brady finds Edelman for his first throw of the night and a new set of downs.
10:53 Edelman grabs another ball out of the air from Brady, who had all the time in the world in the pocket; way to go guys.
8:28 Michel finds a nice gap to pick up 17 yards with fast footwork and sets up 1st and goal.
7:07 Brady throws the ball in Dorsett's direction in the end zone; time for a kick.
7:04 A perfect spiral through the uprights by Forbath.
FIELD GOAL IS GOOD NE 3 - HOU 0
6:22 Hyde is brought down hard with little gain.
4:16 Fuller receives a quick bullet pass from Watson, and manages to stay on his feet until the defense spun him around a few times.
3:27 Van Noy finds his way through the line and sacks Watson so fast, Fuller was still spinning.
2:46 Brady is unable to connect with Sanu, but the pressure was on, so let's be thankful it's incomplete and nothing worse.
2:37 Redemption; Brady connects with Sanu for a short gain.
2:00 Roby picks a pass from Brady, but after the interception, he takes off his helmet and displays unsportsmanlike like conduct.
:40 Johnson takes a quick pass from Watson and jogs into the end zone for the first touchdown of the game.
PAT IS GOOD NE 3 - HOU 7
14:54 Brady tucks the ball in and rushes 13 yards before sliding into a 1st down after avoiding a sack.
14:00 White catches a bullet pass from Brady and pretty much lays down before he can get driven into the ground.
13:13 As a flag is down on a play on a punt return, the camera is on Brady. In recent weeks he's been noticeably frustrated, but we're now watching him angrily yelling at whoever's off camera. I'm no lip reader, but it doesn't look good.
11:17 Watson has a nice fake, and takes off for what he was looking to make a 1st down. He's pushed out with inches to the line.
9:35 Watson puts the ball in Johnson's hands for a new set of downs as the Texans march the ball down the field.
8:58 Simon almost had Watson to the ground, but he somehow manages to avoid the sack and throw the ball away.
7:29 Hopkins and Gilmore just had an incredible tango.
6:52 Watson throws to Fells for a 13 yard touchdown.
PAT IS GOOD NE 3 - HOU 14
6:15 Bolden with a decent kick return.
5:08 Brady airs the ball out down to Edelman, and is throw almost picked by Hargreaves.
3:40 That where's Gronk sign is something we're all feeling. The interlude of him dancing with the Lakers was nice.
3:09 Brady ducks one sack, but can't get away again; he's brought down and Bailey punts the ball away.
2:21 Winovich brings Watson down behind the line of scrimmage.
1:13 Stills makes a catch; his first of the game, but short of the first down.
:59 Meyers catch will go under review. Update: his catch stands for a 16 yard gain.
:41 White rushes the ball for a new set of downs after running into his own guys. But, he found a gap and moved the chains.
:26 Brady has his pass knocked down. Under a helmet you can see how agitated and frustrated he is.
14:16 Roby with a huge pick off of Brady, however, a flag on the play keeps the Patriots in possession.
13:27 Let's all hope for a big New England 3rd down conversion.
13:18 Never mind, that was a a huge sack by Roby straight through a hole in the line. Time to punt.
12:23 Hightower coming in clutch to sack Watson for a loss.
11:35 Johnson is still short of a first down, but he definitely made moves as he marched the ball down the field.
10:40 Michel comes up through the middle with a very short gain.
9:58 Brady gets out of the way in time to not get sacked, and once again the ball goes to no one; another throwaway.
9:53 Sanu moves the chains for a new set of downs after Brady gets a solid pass out to him.
9:09 A quick hand-off to White is a huge 32 yard gain.
7:09 Sanu drops a long pass that would have picked up a first own and then some.
6:27 Stills receives a long pass from Watson.
5:50 A possible touchdown by Fuller is under review. Update: incomplete pass.
5:41 Watson finds Stills in the end zone and that's a complete pass and a touchdown.
PAT IS GOOD NE 3 - HOU 21
5:00 Edelman snags a first down.
3:48 White picks up a few yards, but guys, we need some pep in our step. Everyone's looking understandably frustrated... let's go.
2:45 Watson and Brady connect and the Patriots have a first down.
2:01 Pocket coverage; where are you?
1:48 Brady and Edelman find each other and gain 44 yards with a solid pass and run from number 11.
:25 LaCosse drops a pass; let's just keep moving guys.
:11 Brady finds White, who jogs 12 yards into the end zone for their first touchdown of the night.
PAT IS NO GOOD NE 9 - HOU 21
14:48 Johnson picks up a first down, McCourty coming in to knock him down... took a little bit of doing.
12:38 The Hopkins Gilmore battle is real.
11:14 Watson to Hopkins, huge gain. Once again, the Texans are within striking distance.
9:53 A lot of hand offs and a quick flick from behind the line of scrimmage to Watson for a touchdown.
PAT IS GOOD NE 9 - HOU 27
9:45 White just had his feet grabbed out from under him and went down hard.
9:01 Edelman thankfully catches a pass from Brady.
8:22 Brady is sacked again for a loss.
6:53 Meyer was Brady's intended target, but a flag on the play for pass interference will give New England an automatic first down.
6:06 Quite the run by White for a first down.
5:37 Brady finds White downfield to move the chains; clock is stopped as Reed comes off the field.
4:56 Back to back throwaways from Brady.
4:09 Dorsett makes a clean catch but man, that was a hard hit to send him flying backwards.
3:42 Brady finds room to move in the pocket and connects with White for a touchdown.
PAT IS NO GOOD. NE 15 - HOU 28
3:41 The onside kick didn't work. Houston recovers.
2:50 That "tackle" looked like a really big group hug.
2:36 A punt rush didn't do much; kicks away and the Patriots will start around the 5 yard line.
2:29 White rushes for a new set of downs
1:52 Brady airs the ball out downfield and yet again, a pass is broken up.
1:43 Meyer catches a long pass from Brady, a new set of downs but not enough.
1:10 White and Brady connect and White gains 36 yards.
:50 Brady finds Edelman for a touchdown.
PAT IS GOOD NE 22 - HOU 28
:50 The onside kick from Bailey hops and Bolden almost gets it but it scoots out of bounds. Houston recovers.