Patriots rally for 34-31 win over Texans

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 1, 2013 at 5:47 pm •  Published: December 1, 2013
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HOUSTON (AP) — Things have gotten so bad for the Houston Texans that Andre Johnson was fielding questions about how this year compares to Houston's franchise-worst 2-14 season in 2005 after the team's latest loss.

"I wouldn't say it feels the same," he said. "Back then I don't think we had a good football team like we have now as far as talent-wise. This season has been disappointing for everybody — a lot of frustration."

Tom Brady threw for 371 yards and two scores, and Stephen Gostkowski made two long field goals in the fourth quarter Sunday as the Patriots rallied for a 34-31 win over Houston.

The Texans' franchise-record skid reached 10 games. The Jaguars won on Sunday to leave Houston with the worst record in the AFC.

"(It is) very humbling to go from truly visualizing you being in the Super Bowl to you being the worst team in the league ... but it isn't going to stop our fight," defensive end Antonio Smith said.

Gary Kubiak coached from the sideline for the first time since suffering a mini-stroke Nov. 3. He missed one game before working the last two games from the booth.

"We're playing hard, we're not always playing good," Kubiak said. "We had a lot of opportunities to make plays ourselves, just didn't make enough."

New England overcame a 24-point first-half deficit last week to beat the Broncos 34-31 in overtime. The Patriots (9-3) trailed by 10 at halftime in this one and the lead changed five times in a wild second half. New England tied it with a 53-yard field goal and took a 34-31 lead with another one from 53 with about three minutes left.

The Texans (2-10) had a chance late, but the offense stalled. On fourth-and-13, Case Keenum threw an incompletion as he was being hit.

Ben Tate ran for 102 yards and three touchdowns for the Texans, who haven't won since Sept. 15. It was the first 100-yard rushing game since 2011 for Tate, who has been slowed since Oct. 20 with four broken ribs.

"There are no moral victories," Tate said. "But at least we played a little bit better than we have in the last couple of weeks."

The victory ended a three-game road skid for the Patriots, who have won 16 of their last 17 December games.

Rob Gronkowski had six receptions for 127 yards and Julian Edelman added 101 yards receiving on nine catches. New England didn't miss starting running back Stevan Ridley, who was not active after having fumbling problems recently.



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