Houston Texans Step Up on Sunday Night In a Key Win Over The New England Patriots

Patrick D. Starr

At the end of the Houston Texans win over the New England Patriots, Deshaun Watson presented the game ball to head coach Bill O'Brien in front of the entire team. It was was Watson's first victory over Tom Brady and O'Brien first victory over his former boss Bill Belichick.

"I mean it was big," Watson said. "I mean just for both of us. I mean we work together all the time. We had two tries, especially since I've been here, where we came up short. Just being the quarterback of the team, it really came from everyone, but you know for me to present that I bet it meant a lot to him and to us as an organization, so it was, it was awesome. "

In the first half is was all Texans disrupting everything that the Patriots were attempting on offense. The Patriots were held to 146 total yards, but Brady's early struggles were ultimately the difference. 

Brady completed 36.8% of his passes on 19 attempts for 82 yards while averaging 4.3 yards per attempt. The Texans mixed up coverages, and their early look of deploying four cornerbacks frustrated the Patriots. Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel was willing to send either Bradley Roby or Vernon Hargreaves III to cover the back coming out of the backfield while Johnathan Joseph and Lonnie Johnson, Jr. stayed outside to cover wide receivers. 

Roby had the early play to flip the momentum with an interception of a pass intended for N'Keal Henry, where he jumped the route returning it for 22 yards. 

What had been a non-existent pass rush showed up with Jacob Martin producing two quarterback hits and sharing a sack with Zach Cunningham. Interior defenders D.J. Reader and Brandon Dunn were also able to get Brady to the ground to create issues. 

In the first half, Watson threw for 122 yards, completing 78.6% of his passes with touchdowns to Duke Johnson and Darren Fells to give Houston a  14-3 lead halftime lead. 

The Texans taok control in the second half and and held off the Patriots late surge, which included a nearly recovered onsides kick. 

The Texans were able to slow the pace of play and turned the game on a trick play that saw DeAndre Hopkins throw a six-yard touchdown pass to Watson after taking the handoff from Johnson. 

The offense had been saving that play for a couple of weeks and been waiting to use it at the right time. That touchdown put the game out of reach. The Patriots put together two late scores, but it was too late, and they lost to the Texans for just the second time.

Watson ended up throwing for 234 yards and three touchdowns. 

Bill O'Brien was pleased with his team's performance and win over the Texans. 

"I think that you know guys worked hard this week," I think it hasn't always been perfect this year, but you know they've come into work every week in this room, and they focused. We've had decent practices, and I thought that's what happened this week. We practiced hard this week. They put a lot out there. They put preparation, and it paid off for them. And I think that it was a good team win, and it keeps us in the hunt."

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