For the second straight week the Patriots hung 30 plus points on an opposing defense, but it was thanks to a 25-yard strike from Tom Brady to Brandin Cooks, with 23 seconds to win the game.
It was a game that all afternoon was a back-and-forth struggle, and in large parts found the Texans as the better team. Houston dominated with their front seven for much of the game by beating the Patriots offensive line with their pass rush. Former 2014 No. 1 pick Jadeveon Clowney led the way for the Texans with two sacks in the game. He also took a Whitney Mercilus sack on Tom Brady that led to the football popping free and taking it 22 yards for a touchdown. Houston with their five sacks came within 23 seconds of doing what most can’t, beating the Patriots at home.
For the second straight week the Patriots were led by their 40 year-old quarterback, Tom Brady. Completing the comeback resulted in a stat line of 378 yards and five touchdowns. Despite being under pressure all game, he was in sync with his top-three receivers Brandin Cooks, Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan, on the receiving end of all five TD passes.
Defensively New England gave up 33 points to an offense led by rookie Deshaun Watson. The Houston quarterback put up impressive numbers against the Patriots, throwing for 301 yards and two touchdowns. Watson also was a force on the ground by keeping several plays alive finishing second on the team with 41 rushing yards.
The Patriots were without their leader on defense, Dont’a Hightower. He’s on track to get back into the lineup in week 4. Judging by the many flaws we saw against Houston defensively, his presence will be much-anticipated to help tighten things up. If not, the Patriots won’t be so lucky next time, home or away.
* Tom Brady set an NFL record by winning AFC Player of The Week last week for the 28th time in his career, and now broke it by winning it again this week
* Brady has done that four times in his career (winning back-to-back honors). He accomplished that feat in 2007 (Weeks 6&7), 2010 (Weeks 12&13) and in 2011 (Weeks 1&2).
* Brandin Cooks had his fifth multi-touchdown performance, and his eighth 100-yard receiving game of his career on Sunday