Texans strong early, hold off late New England rally to hand Patriots second loss

Texans strong early, hold off late New England rally to hand Patriots second loss

Deshaun Watson scores a touchdown against Elandon Roberts #52 of the New England Patriots during the fourth quarter in the game at NRG Stadium on December 01, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

HOUSTON, Texas — The Houston Texans dominated on both sides of the ball early Sunday night and held off a late rally to down the Patriots, 28-22. With the loss, the Patriots (10-2) now fall to the second seed in the AFC, behind the Baltimore Ravens (10-2).

After allowing a field goal to the Patriots on the first drive of the game, the Texans (8-4) scored three consecutive touchdowns - one in each quarter - before adding another in the fourth at home.

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Deshaun Watson was the star of the night for Houston, throwing for three touchdowns and catching another against a Patriots defense that entered the game as one of the league's best. By the end of the game, they had given up 234 yards and four scores to Watson.

Offensively, the Patriots struggled early against a J.J. Watt-less Texans defense. Tom Brady threw for 326 yards but completed 24-of-47 passes. He had three second half touchdowns and a first quarter interception.

James White was on the receiving end of two Brady touchdown passes, hauling in a 12-yard touchdown in the third quarter and a 14-yard score in the fourth. Julian Edelman hauled in the third touchdown pass, scoring on a 20-yard strike with just 50 seconds left in the contest.

The Patriots had a chance to recover an onside kick in the waning seconds of the contest, but the ball bounced off the outstretched hand of Brandon Bolden and rolled out of bounds to effectively end the game.