The New England Patriots righted the good ship Belichick with a convincing victory over the Houston Texans 27-6. The Patriots defense came to play shutting down the Houston offense. The Patriots pass rush was great from the word go as it collected six sacks. The offense played well enough to score 27 points, with a strong balanced attack.
Tom Brady completed 22 of 30 passes for 226 yards and two scores, using more of a horizontal attack. The game plan was much better this week as Josh McDaniels and the offense scrapped the throw it deep plan. LeGarrette Blount ran hard running the ball 10 times for 52 yards before leaving with a hip injury. Rob Gronkowski came back after missing one game and caught four passes for 87 yards and a score.
The story of the game was the defense though as they held Houston to 189 total yards. The six sacks were great, but the overall pressure on Brian Hoyer was just as impressive. Speaking of impressive Logan Ryan continued his stellar play this season by blanketing DeAndre Hopkins who only had three catches for 53 yards. It was the first game this season he was held under five catches in a game this season. Jerod Mayo stepped in for an injured Jonathan Freeny and tied for the team lead with eight tackles. Huge game by Jabaal Sheard as he had two sacks, and two forced fumbles. Akiem Hicks also collected two sacks on the night.
The good news started earlier in the day for the Patriots as both the Bengals and Broncos lost on Sunday. With the Patriots victory they vault back into first place in the AFC. The Patriots are now once again in control of their destiny for the road to the playoffs to go through Foxborough. The Patriots will play against the Titans next week, while the Broncos have to travel to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers. The Bengals play 49ers, most likely without quarterback Andy Dalton who fractured the thumb on his throwing hand. Denver and Cincinatti will play each other week 16, so one of those teams will have four losses.
The Patriots had some bad news in the game as Blount, Freeny, Easley and McCourty all left the game with injuries. Each week Patriots are losing more players to the hot tub. More information will be available on the injuries as the week goes on.