By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Patriots had trouble stopping Deshaun Watson and the Texans’ big-play offense for much of the afternoon, as Cam Newton’s comeback attempt came up short and the Pats lost by a 27-20 final score.
In this game, the big story was Watson and the Patriots’ inability to get to him with their pressure. Watson often had a clean pocket but bought time with his feet when he didn’t. He sliced up the Pats’ secondary to the tune of 28-for-37 for 344 yards and two touchdowns.
Watson also rushed five times for 33 yards and a touchdown on the ground, powering through both Ja’Whaun Bentley and Devin McCourty on his way into the end zone.
Will Fuller led the Texans in catches with six and Brandin Cooks led in receiving yards with 85. Watson completed passes to nine different players in the game.
The Patriots’ front-seven could only muster two quarterback hits of pressure on the afternoon. Meanwhile, the Texans’ defensive front had a disruptive day against the Patriots’ typically stout offensive line, totaling two sacks and eight QB hits.
Defensive end J.J. Watt had one of his best games ever against the Patriots, with two total tackles and one for a loss. He batted four passes down at the line.
Newton and the Patriots trailed 21-10 at halftime, but a couple of key defensive stands by the Patriots helped them crawl back into it. Damiere Byrd caught a 42-yard touchdown from Newton to make it 21-17, but the teams traded field goals from there. The team’s last real chance in the fourth quarter came up short when Newton, under pressure, threw an incompletion to turn the ball over on downs.
Patriots running back Rex Burkhead had to leave the game in the third quarter with what the team termed a knee injury. He was carted off the field after briefly visiting the blue medical tent.
The Patriots fell to 4-6 on the season, as their hopes for a big run back into contention for a playoff spot took a major hit.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at firstname.lastname@example.org.