You can click here for all the stats, and you can read on for highlights from New England’s dominant win:
Pats Rookies Lead the Way on 1st Scoring Drive
After the Texans’ second drive ended when they curiously opted to run the ball on 3rd-and-8, the Pats took over at their own 20 and proceeded to march down the field 74 yards before Stephen Gostkowski knocked in the 24-yard field goal.
New England’s rookies were at the center of the two biggest plays of the drive. First, quarterback Jacoby Brissett turned the option into a 13-yard run, breaking some ankles along the way:
Three plays later, on 3rd-and-2, Brissett connected on a short slant with fourth-round pick Malcolm Mitchell, who used his impressive after-the-catch ability to rack up 27 yards and set up New England for the field goal.
Brissett Takes Advantage of Texans Fumble
Charles James coughed up the ensuing kickoff, giving the Patriots the ball on the 22-yard line. After a false start to open the drive, Brissett found a ton of space on a quarterback keeper, juked one defender and found the endzone for the 27-yard touchdown.
Brissett’s first career touchdown was also the longest run by the Patriots quarterback in nearly four decades:
Texans Fail to Reach Pats Territory in the 1st Half
Out of sync for the entire first half, the furthest the Texans offense was able to get was midfield. Their six possessions went as follows: punt, punt, fumble (on kick return), interception, punt and punt.
Brock Osweiler threw for 100 yards and an interception, the offensive line created few opening for Lamar Miller, who averaged 3.1 yards on his 16 carries, and the play-calling was questionable at best, as the Texans ran on third down three times.
Pats Lean on the Run to Start the 3rd
On the first drive out of the locker room, the Patriots took nearly seven minutes off the clock as part of 13-play, 71-yard drive. It was a heavy dose of LeGarrette Blount, who tallied six carries and 32 yards during the methodical march down the field.
Ultimately, Julian Edelman had a pass in the endzone go just off his fingertips on third-and-goal, leading to a 25-yard field goal for Gostkowski and a 13-0 Patriots lead.
Texans Mistakes Continue to Pile Up
Just like after the field goal in the first half, the Texans fumbled the following kickoff, this time with Olympian Rugby player Nate Ebner popping the ball loose out of rookie Tyler Ervin’s hands.
On the ensuing possession, the Texans committed two pass interference penalties in the endzone, allowing Blount to ultimately punch it in from the 1 and make it 20-0:
Nearly 10 minutes into the half, the Patriots had scored 10 points and the Texans hadn’t run a play from scrimmage.
Blount Adds the Exclamation Point
After a couple more Texans drives resulting in nothing but punts, Blount added to Houston’s embarrassing night with an all-too-easy 41-yard touchdown and subsequent photo session:
The Texans offensive ineptitude would continue for the rest of the quarter, and they were ultimately shut out in the regular season for the first time in more than a decade: