New England Patriots Prevail Despite Not Bringing Best Effort vs. Houston Texans

By Daniel Schmelzer
Tom Brady New England Patriots
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It was not exactly how they drew it up, but Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the rest of the New England Patriots escaped Reliant Stadium with a 34-31 victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday.

Brady went 29-for-41 with 371 yards and two passing touchdowns. Tight end Rob Gronkowski was Brady’s favorite target once again hauling in six passes for 127 yards and one touchdown. Slot receiver Julian Edelman had a nice game with nine catches for 101 yards. When he needed a big play, Brady went almost exclusively to his most sure handed receivers in Gronkowksi and Edelman.

The 2-10 Texans put up a great effort, but came up just short in the end. Running back Ben Tate had a fantastic game with 102 yards on 22 carries and three touchdowns, and quarterback Case Keenum made some plays. But the defense was not able to hold Brady and the Patriots in the second half.

The Texans went into halftime leading 17-7, but the Patriots drove right down the field in the second half and scored on a one-yard touchdown run by fullback James Develin. In the second half, the Patriots had the ball 6 times. Those drives resulted in three touchdowns, two 50-yard field goals by Steven Gostkowski and one punt. The punt came on their last possession where they were just running out the clock, and they did so successfully.

Basically, Brady and the New England offense was able to do everything that they wanted in the second half, and that was the difference in this game. The New England defense simply must get better, especially against the run, but this offense is without a doubt Super Bowl caliber.

The Texans have a lot to be proud of from this game, but as it usually does, talent prevailed in the end. The Patriots proved today that, even when they do not play their best, they can still come out on top. Of course, it always helps to have a sure-fire Hall of Famer under center as well.

Daniel is a writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @D_Schmelzer, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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