While the Texans put forth a much better effort this time around than they did in the first meeting, the end result looked very similar thanks to plenty of offensive failures to execute.
In the first half, the Texans were actually the better team. They got two big turnovers but could push ahead at any point in the game, eventually falling 34-16 in the divisional round. The Texans are now 0-3 all time in the divisional playoffs, losing twice in Foxborough and once in Baltimore.
After three and outs by both teams to start the game, the Patriots scored first on a touchdown drive that looked very easy. After pass interference on A.J. Bouye gained the Pats 30 yards of field position (from their 35 to the Texans 35), Tom Brady hit Chris Hogan for 22 yards and then on the next play hit Dion Lewis for the 13 yard touchdown reception. It was the first of three touchdowns for Lewis on the night.
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The next drive the Texans held the ball for over eight minutes but could not execute in the red zone, having to settle for a field goal to make it 7-3. On the ensuing kickoff, Lewis took it 98 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-3. A couple drives later the Texans got an interception on a tipped pass, but they were only able to get a field goal out of it to make it 14-6.
On the ensuing kickoff, Lewis fumbled and Eddie Pleasant recovered for Houston. Two plays later Brock Osweiler hit C.J. Fiedorowicz for a ten yard touchdown to pull the Texans within one at 14-13. Unfortunately that is as close as they would get all night.
A goal line stand at half by the Texans limited the Patriots to a field goal to make it 17-13 at the break.
On their second drive of the second half, the Patriots began to take control as Brady hit James White for a 19 yard touchdown pass on a wheel route. A few drives later, Houston looked like they could get back into the game but Will Fuller dropped a beautifully thrown deep ball from Osweiler that would have been a touchdown.
On their next drive Houston got a field goal to pull within one possession at 24-16, but the Patriots scored the last ten points of the game to pull away. Osweiler threw three second half interceptions and Lamar Miller failed to get anything going as he finished with 73 yards on 19 carries.
The defense did everything right, but settling for field goals and turning the ball over make for a fitting end to this season. For yet another offseason, the main questions will revolve around the quarterback position.