The Houston Texans' defense came out and shut down the New England Patriots' offense in primetime Sunday night, winning the non-division showdown, 28-22.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was uncomfortable from the get-go, getting barred from finishing off a red-zone trip with a touchdown on their initial possession of the game.
After that, New England failed to find the end zone until the fourth quarter, only after Deshaun Watson threw three touchdowns and was on the receiving end of another to put the hosts ahead for good and reverse an eight-game losing streak, securing just the second win in franchise history over the Patriots.
Brady finished 24 of 47 passing for 326 yards and threw an interception to Bradley Roby who mentioned he was playing with extra support behind him following the passing of his grandfather.
“I promised him I was going to make some plays, he was blind so he never saw me play but maybe he can see me now,” he said after the game. “I was telling the guys earlier in the week I was going to make a play, I didn’t know what it was but I was going to make a play.”
That was one of the turning points in the first half where the Texans defense seized the momentum and used three sacks for a combined loss of 23 yards to put a stranglehold on the lead although Bernardrick McKinney still wasn’t satisfied until the clock ran out.
“Playing against Brady you never feel good until the offense got the ball back,” he said. “I’ve been playing against Tom Brady since I’ve been here and he can always make things happen.”
Cornerback Jonathan Joseph gave credit to defensive coordinator Romeo Crenel for the work he put in to get the team ready week in and week out.
“He gets all the credit, he’s behind the scenes all the time, he puts countless hours in trying to do everything he can to get guys in the right spots,” Joseph said. “I just know the type of match it’s going to be (with the Patriots), I wouldn’t say we played our best ball but we played winning football today in all three phases and at the end of the day that’s what it takes to beat a team like New England because they’re not going to beat themselves.”
Defensive back Justin Reid added this win is a big one under their belt but the Texans have bigger plans for the rest of the season.
“Great win, a heck of a win for this franchise but we’ve got bigger goals in mind and we want to keep that train rolling,” he said. “December football; every game is basically a playoff game.”
On the other side of the ball, Deshaun Watson completed 18-of-25 passing attempts for 234 yards and three touchdowns to Duke Johnson (14 yards), Darren Fells (13 yards) and Kenny Stills (35 yards), while hauling in a touchdown pass from DeAndre Hopkins on an option play near the goal line in the fourth quarter.
Next on the schedule for Houston is another home contest, this one against the Denver Broncos, who will bring their 4-8 overall record to NRG Stadium for the Dec. 8 kickoff set for noon.
7:04 Kai Forbath 23-yard field goal
Patriots 3, Texans 0
0:38 Duke Johnson 14-yard pass from Deshaun Watson, Ka’imi Fairbairn kick
Texans 7, Patriots 3
6:21 Darren Fells 13-yard pass from Deshaun Watson, Ka’imi Fairbairn kick
Texans 14, Patriots 3
5:41 Kenny Stills 35-yard pass from Deshaun Watson, Ka’imi Fairbairn kick
Texans 21, Patriots 3
0:11 James White 12-yard pass from Tom Brady, kick failed
Texans 21, Patriots 9
9:53 Deshaun Watson 6-yard pass from DeAndre Hopkins, Ka’imi Fairbairn kick
Texans 28, Patriots 9
3:42 James White 11-yard pass from Tom Brady, pass failed
Texans 28, Patriots 15
0:50 Julian Edelman 20-yard pass from Tom Brady, Kai Forbath kick
Texans 28, Patriots 22