New England Patriots

Patriots Move on to AFC Championship Game

The Patriots will play the winner of the Chiefs-Steelers game

The Patriots defeated the Texans 34-16 to earn a berth in the AFC Championship game next weekend. 

Patriots running back Dion Lewis starred, scoring three touchdowns on a run, catch, and kickoff return. 

In the 4th quarter, after the Texans closed to 24-16, Logan Ryan intercepted Brock Osweiler. Shortly thereafter, Lewis scored his third touchdown of the game on a one-yard run to stretch the lead to 31-16. 

The Patriots got on the scoreboard first, taking advantage of a Texans A.J. Bouye pass interference penalty for 30 yards. Tom Brady then hit Chris Hogan with a pass for 22 yards. On the third play of the drive, Brady threw a swing pass to Lewis, who outran the Texans defenders into the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown. 

The Texans were able to move the ball against the Patriots on their next drive and Nick Novak kicked a 33-yard FG to close the gap to 7-3. 

Following the Texans score, Lewis electrified the crowd, running the kickoff back 98-yards and the Patriots led 14-3. 

After the Patriots broke out to a 14-3 lead, the Texans scored 10 unanswered points and New England led Houston 17-13 at halftime. 

Lewis fumbled a kickoff and the Texans took over at the 12-yard line and Osweiler capitalized with a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz. The Patriots lead was cut to 14-13. 

Inside the two-minute warning before halftime, the Patriots had the ball inside the 5-yard line, but the Texans defense stood strong, stopping the Patriots three consecutive times and the Patriots had to settle for a field goal to make the lead 17-13 at the half. 

The Patriots offense showed signs of life in the third quarter on a 9 play, 90 yard drive. Tom Brady repeatedly hooked up with Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan to move the ball, culminating in a Brady to James White 19 yard touchdown pass. The Patriots lead was 24-13. It was Brady’s 18th career playoff touchdown pass, the most in history. 

On the Texans’ next possession, Patriots safety Devin McCourty intercepted an Osweiler pass. 

Towards the end of the third quarter Osweiler threw a perfect long pass in the end zone to wide receiver Will Fuller, but he dropped it. 

The Texans entered the game 1-7 against the Patriots. They were winless in New England all time, including a shutout loss earlier this season when Tom Brady was out because of a suspension. 

The Patriots entered the game as 15-1/2-point favorites over the visiting Texans _ just the sixth time since 1966 that a team has been favored by at least 15 points in a playoff game. 

In the five previous occasions only one underdog - the New York Jets in Joe Namath's Super Bowl guarantee - won the game. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us