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New England Patriots

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 10: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots warms up before a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

The game has gone final. The New England Patriots have improved to 2-3 on the season with a huge comeback win against the Houston Texans. After trailing 22-9 in the third quarter, the Patriots scored 16 unanswered points, capped with the eventual game-winning field goal by Nick Folk, who went 4-for-4 on field goals in the game.

Scroll down for a recap of our live updates from the game.

Live Updates

  • Q4, 0:15: Patriots finally take first lead

    The Patriots may actually squeak out a win here. They’ve scored 16 unanswered points on the Texans and have their first lead after another Nick Folk field goal to make it 25-22 New England.

    Just don’t give up a miracle…

  • Q4, 2:00: Patriots threatening to take the lead

    The Patriots are knocking on the door of taking their first lead at the two-minute warning. The Texans have called their second timeout with the Pats threatening.

    Key plays on this drive so far: a roughing the passer flag against the Texans that gave the Patriots a first down despite an incomplete pass; a 24-yard run by Brandon Bolden; and a third-down catch over the middle by Hunter Henry.

    Just don’t turn it over…

  • Q4, 6:45: Collins sack gives Patriots momentum

    Old friend Jamie Collins came up with a huge sack on Davis Mills on second down, which ended up stalling the Texans’ drive.

  • Q4, 9:31: Patriots tie it up after Henry TD

    Mac Jones finds Hunter Henry in the end zone on third down, Nick Folk’s extra point is good, and we’re back to the drawing board. Patriots and Texans are now tied 22-22.

  • Q4, 13:29: Texans get no points, Patriots take over

    A horrible day continues for Texans kicker Kai’mi Fairbairn. He’s wide right from (an admittedly tough) 56 yards and the Patriots will take over from the Houston 38, down only seven points. The Texans also burned a timeout in this sequence.

    Momentum has gradually shifted in the Patriots’ favor over the course of the second half. Let’s see who can close this game better.

  • Q3, 1:50: Patriots within a touchdown

    The Patriots continue to grind their way back into the game. They fail to find the end zone once again, but they’re back within a touchdown after Nick Folk makes another field goal. It’s 22-15 Texans.

  • Q3, 5:48: Patriots defense gets a stop

    Someone in the Patriots’ secondary finally made a positive play. Myles Bryan is quick to sniff out David Johnson on the screen pass, and tackles him behind the line of scrimmage. Texans forced to punt.

    Perhaps momentum could tilt in the Patriots’ favor with a productive offensive drive.

    Injury Update: Patriots RB Damien Harris (chest) is questionable to return.

  • Q3, 9:49: Texans botch punt, Patriots get quick field goal

    The Texans tried some trickeration on their punt play, but the punt hit their own guy and deflected out of bounds. So the Patriots took over at the Texans’ 36-yard line, and while the offense couldn’t move the ball, they’re within range for another Nick Folk field goal. It’s 22-12 Texans with a lot of football left.

  • Q3, 13:31: Trick-play touchdown for the Texans

    The Texans have completed another long touchdown, this time from Davis Mills to Chris Conley on a flea-flicker. Houston takes a 22-9 lead.

    Conley burned Joejuan Williams in coverage on the play, while Davis Mills had more than enough time to launch the ball down the field after taking the pitch back.

    There’s no other way to put it. The Texans are out-playing and out-coaching the Patriots. Home team outclassing the opponent so far.

  • Q2, 14:13: Jones intercepted on second play of third quarter

    On just the Patriots’ second play from scrimmage to start the third quarter, Mac Jones throws an interception to Lonnie Johnson. Bad decision by Jones, as Nelson Agholor was well-covered and the ball was thrown closer to the defender than the receiver.

  • First-Half Offensive Snaps

    Only 27 offensive snaps for the Patriots in the first half. Snap counts so far…

    Jakobi Meyers: 25
    Nelson Agholor: 20
    Hunter Henry: 22
    Jonnu Smith: 15
    Damien Harris: 13
    Brandon Bolden: 13
    N’Keal Harry: 7
    Rhamondre Stevenson: 4
    Jakob Johnson: 1
    Yasir Durant (as TE): 1

    Jakobi Meyers still has his typical role playing all or most snaps. He only sat for two plays: the Patriots’ Wildcat touchdown, which came with no receivers, and a sweep play to Kendrick Bourne with only Bourne and Nelson Agholor on the field.

    Hunter Henry continues to lead the way in tight end snaps. At running back, an even split for Damien Harris and Brandon Bolden. Harris hasn’t played since his fumble at the goal line. Bolden played all nine snaps on the Pats’ field goal drive that ended the first half for their offense.

  • HALFTIME: Texans 15, Patriots 9.

    The Patriots’ final drive of the first half ends with a Nick Folk line drive for a field goal to make it 15-9. There are still two seconds left on the clock, so the Patriots have to kick it off.

    Mac Jones went 4-for-9 on the drive. Two of his incompletions were a spike and a throwaway, but he also had an incomplete pass intended for Hunter Henry that was very nearly intercepted. Jakobi Meyers also dropped what would’ve been a long wide-open catch and possibly a touchdown. Pats leaving points on the board.

    Overall, an impressive first half for the Texans, who scored touchdowns on each of their first two offensive drives. The Patriots, meanwhile, have the game’s only turnover, and it came at the goal line. Their defense has to clean a lot of things up after rookie quarterback Davis Mills and the Texans offense basically shredded them.

  • Q2, 1:37: Finally, Patriots defense gets a stop

    Mercifully, the Patriots have had enough plays to stop the Texans from scoring a touchdown. Their red-zone stand against the Texans happened on the strength of two sacks in three plays by linebacker Matt Judon, who’s already up to 6.5 sacks on the season.

    The Texans were close enough for Fairbairn to hit a field goal, though, so it’s 15-6 Texans, and they’ll almost certainly take the lead into halftime.

  • Q2, 2:00: Another fourth-down conversion for Houston

    The Texans’ offense continues to impress. They’ve picked up yet another fourth down, this time with a 40-yard catch-and-run by Chris Conley. Davis Mills escaped the pocket again and delivered another strike down the sideline, and Conley slipped away from the secondary for some YAC.

    Texans knocking on the door of another touchdown, just before halftime.

  • Q2, 4:19: Texans facing fourth-and-1

    The Texans picked up 15 yards on a screen on third-and-16. Now they face a fourth-and-1, and appear to be going for it, but could be trying to draw the Patriots offside. Be interesting to see what David Culley calls for here.

    Update: The Texans have converted the fourth-and-1, with their second conversion on a slant to the left. This time, Brandin Cooks makes the catch against J.C. Jackson.

  • Q2, 8:48: Patriots touchdown overturned to fumble

    Four possessions, four impressive drives by each team. The Patriots appear to have a touchdown by Damien Harris, but the ball was punched out, so it’s under review to see if Harris lost possession of the ball before he crossed the plane of the goal line.

    Update: The referees have overturned the call to a fumble and a recovery for Houston in the end zone, which makes it a touchback. So instead of the Patriots tying the game, the Texans take over with the lead.

  • Q2, 12:56: Texans strike again with 67-yard touchdown

    Suddenly, the Texans are back in the lead. Kai’mi Fairbairn’s extra point is no good again, but the Texans have the lead back at 12-6.

    This came almost all in one play: Davis Mills escaped the pocket and launched it down the right sideline for Chris Moore, who out-leaped J.C. Jackson to make an impressive catch. Devin McCourty was down on Moore in coverage, but instead, Moore blows by him and there’s no help in back, so it’s a 67-yard strike for the score.

    Surprisingly explosive start to the game in Houston.

  • Harris scores out of wildcat, Patriots tie game

    A wildcat sighting in Houston! Mac Jone split out wide as the Patriots showed run, then Damien Harris took the direct snap to power his way into the end zone.

    The extra point from Nick Folk is no good, but the Patriots and Texans are now tied 6-6.

  • End Q1: Texans 6, Patriots 0.

    Already?! The first quarter is done after a long, run-heavy opening drive for the Texans. We’ll see if Houston can keep it up for 60 minutes, but Davis Mills looked sharp and the Texans executed a number of well-called plays to find the end zone.

    The Patriots, however, are threatening. They’ve run nine plays of their own on their first offensive drive, and are knocking on the door of the scoreboard. They’ve converted 2-of-2 first downs, both through the air.

  • Q1, 4:54: Texans score touchdown on impressive opening drive

    Long, interesting, and eventful opening drive for the Texans. They chewed 10:06 off the clock and came away with a touchdown. Extra point is no good, so it’s 6-0 Houston.

    The biggest play of this drive was a fourth-and-2 conversion by Davis Mills, who completed it on a slant to David Johnson against Devin McCourty. They converted five first downs and made multiple gains on the Pats defense with screens. Mills’ touchdown went to tight end Antony Auclair over the middle and in the end zone.

    Mac Jones and the Patriots now have to answer, and do it with a pacthwork offensive line.

  • Patriots win coin toss and defer

    The Patriots have won the opening coin toss and deferred to the second half. Their defense will take the field to start the game against Texans rookie quarterback Davis Mills.

  • Projected Starting Offensive Line

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 19: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots drops back against the Philadelphia Eagles in the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 19, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Patriots defeated the Eagles 35-0. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

    PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 19: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots drops back against the Philadelphia Eagles in the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 19, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Patriots defeated the Eagles 35-0. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

    Based on pregame warmups, the Patriots will start the game with Justin Herron and Yodny Cajuste at tackle, along with two fill-in starters at guard. According to Jim McBride of the Boston Globe, the team used two different combinations, switching the two tackles. So here are the possible starting lineups on the O-line, based on what reporters are seeing:

    LT Justin Herron/Yodny Cajuste
    LG James Ferentz
    C David Andrews
    RG Ted Karras
    RT Justin Herron/Yodny Cajuste

    If third-year pro Yodny Cajuste sticks in the starting lineup, he will take his first career offensive snaps. Cajuste spent most of his first two seasons on injured reserve, then missed time early in the 2021 season with a hamstring injury. Finally healthy and ready to contribute, Cajuste has a chance to help shore up some shakiness at tackle to start the season.

  • RB J.J. Taylor Among Patriots' Inactives

    The Patriots have released their inactives for Sunday, and four of them were already known. The fifth is tight end Devin Asiasi, who has yet to be active for a game, and the sixth is an unexpected move: running back J.J. Taylor is inactive, making rookie Rhamondre Stevenson active for the first time since Week 1.