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Patriots rout Texans 42-14 in key AFC matchup

By BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer Modified: December 11, 2012 at 12:19 am •  Published: December 11, 2012
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/articleid/3736626/1/pictures/1905064">Photo - New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates his 37-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (85) during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Foxborough, Mass., Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) ORG XMIT: FBO112
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates his 37-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (85) during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Foxborough, Mass., Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) ORG XMIT: FBO112

It got worse.

At the end of a 70-yard drive helped by a 26-yard interference call on Danieal Manning, no Texans were lined up to Brady's left in front of Hernandez. A quick snap, a quicker pass and the tight end waltzed into the end zone.

“We've got to look in the mirror at what we did tonight,” Kubiak said.

New England was headed for its 20th successive home win in December.

“These guys feel really good about the way they played tonight and they should,” coach Bill Belichick said.

Houston was headed back home wondering not only how it could measure up to a perennial championship contender in the future, but if it could hold off surging Indianapolis in the AFC South. The Texans have a two-game lead but face the Colts (9-4) on Sunday in Houston, then in the season finale at Indianapolis.

Although the Texans have clinched at least a wild-card berth, they haven't had a truly convincing win since October. This was a convincing defeat, however — although they got on the scoreboard in the third quarter with an 88-yard drive capped by Arian Foster's 1-yard run.

But Foster was held to 46 yards on 15 carries.

By then the Patriots had scored their fourth TD, a gorgeous 63-yard throw to Donte' Stallworth, who was re-signed last week to replace injured Julian Edelman. It gave Brady his 18th game with at least four TD passes, moving ahead of Hall of Famer John Unitas for fourth all time.

Brady nearly had a fifth as Woodhead broke free on a screen pass early in the fourth period. Texans standout defensive end J.J. Watt, who was pretty much invisible otherwise, forced a fumble, but the ball soared 11 yards into the end zone, where Lloyd fell on it for a 35-7 lead.

Stevan Ridley made it 42-7 with a 14-yard run. The Texans have allowed 42 points in both losses, the other coming against Green Bay on Oct. 14.

Texans backup quarterback T.J. Yates scored on a 1-yard run with 2:00 remaining to close the scoring.

NOTES: Patriots CB Aqib Talib hurt his hip in the second quarter. CB Alfonzo Dennard injured his hamstring. … New England has won 10 games in each of the last 10 seasons. The record is 16 by San Francisco (1983-98). … The Patriots have forced turnovers in 24 straight games. … Hernandez had eight catches for 58 yards, while Houston star wideout Andre Johnson caught eight passes for 95. … Stallworth's TD was his first for New England since 2007. … Schaub went 19 for 32 for 232 yards.


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