H-Town was the site of an important AFC contest last night with the Patriots entering at 0-3 looking to get a necessary win over the Texans in week 4. Houston won the toss and received and confidently marched down the field capped off by a 45-yd TD pass from QB Ameriol Girault to DeAndre Hopkins. New England's offense responded with a TD of their own after LaMarcus Riles punched in a 3-yd TD run. Pat Mahomes was 5/6 for 54 yards on that drive with three third down conversions. Mahomes would go out for a couple plays late in the 2nd quarter after falling hard on his left shoulder. Backup QB Brad Kaaya stepped in on that drive and went 3/3 for 55 yards and a 36-yd TD strike to Malcolm Ward as they retook the lead, 17-10 heading into halftime.
After the half, the defense turned up a notch as they forced punts on consecutive possesions and then picked off Girault again late in the 3rd quarter. Offensively, Mahomes continues to be in sync with his receivers. Brandin Cooks finished the game with five catches, Chad Williams caught five as well and Malcolm Ward had four. Pat's ability to spread the ball around regardless of down and distance has been a welcomed addition to this offense this year. That addition led to New England putting up another TD run for Riles as the strong-armed QB went 4/4 on that drive putting the team up 24-13 midway through the 4th quarter. On the next Houston drive, MLB Charly Reese undercut a crossing route intended for WR Will Fuller and returned it for a TD, essentially sealing up the game.
Final: Patriots 31 - Texans 13
Mahomes finished 16/20 for 193 yds with a 107 QBR. LaMarcus Riles had 2 TD runs, CB Stephon Gilmore had one INT and a fumble recovery. The Pats defense collected five turnovers in the win. That brand of defense is what the fans and coaches are used to seeing. Hard hitting, fast to the ball, aggressive in pass defense. That's what will need to come back.
Quote of the Night: "I think everyone knew we needed this win tonight. We've been in every game this season but didn't finish. We took care of business tonight and now we can build on this. This locker room is together. It's a long season. We're looking to finish a lot better than we've started." - FS Jacques Ferguson
Next up, New England will remain on the road as they will visit the Jets in MetLife Stadium. The Pats have won their last nine division games.
Until Next Time ...