Posted December 11, 2012 on
AP on Fox
New England Patriots
The best record in the AFC will mean little to the Houston Texans if they can't beat the defending conference champions.
The Texans lost for just the second time this season on Monday night when the New England Patriots coasted to a 42-14 win in a matchup of the two top teams in the AFC. Tom Brady threw for four touchdowns as the Patriots (10-3) opened a 28-0 lead and ended Houston's (11-2) six-game winning streak.
''That's what it takes to get to where they've been for a long time,'' Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. ''That's why they're where they're at: They've been making those plays. We've been making them a lot but we didn't tonight.''
Matt Schaub completed 19 of 32 passes for 232 yards and was pulled in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach. He also threw an interception in the end zone when the Texans were only down by a touchdown; six plays later, the Patriots had gone 82 yards to make it 14-0.
New England started its next possession with a 31-yard punt return and marched the rest of the way in seven plays.
''We got our tails kicked,'' Kubiak said. ''When you've got an opportunity to make a big play, you can't miss it against a team of this magnitude. We turned around and it was 21-0 pretty quick.''
The Patriots reached the Super Bowl last year for the fifth time in 11 seasons, and they have already clinched this year's AFC East title. With their seventh straight victory, they and moved one game behind the Texans for the conference's top seed.
''It's a Monday night game,'' Brady said. ''We have played in a lot of big games in December.''
A matchup of the top two scoring teams in the league was a mismatch from the outset. It took New England only one possession to start its scoring barrage as the Patriots surpassed their average of 35.8 points per game.
''It needs to come together now, this is the perfect time for it,'' added Brady, who became a father for the third time last Wednesday when his wife, Gisele, gave birth to his first daughter, Vivian Lake.
''She is doing very well,'' Brady said. ''It's been a great week, a great way to end it.''
Wes Welker's 31-yard punt return and 25-yard reception - the 107th straight game he's had a catch - led to Aaron Hernandez's 7-yard score. That gave Brady 45 consecutive games with a TD pass, third longest in NFL history.
It also set the tone.
Houston, which had won six straight, threatened on its next series, only to have Schaub force a ball into double coverage in the Patriots' end zone. Devin McCourty picked it off and returned it 19 yards, setting up more pinpoint throws by Brady, who finished 21 of 35.
He couldn't miss if he tried, his receivers were so uncovered: Brandon Lloyd for 14 yards, Danny Woodhead for 18, Hernandez for 13, then Lloyd for the 37-yard TD to make it 14-0. Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips could only shake his head in disgust at his players' inability to challenge the Patriots.
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.
New England was headed for its 20th successive home win in December, and its 21st straight victory in the second half of the schedule.
''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 again 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.
By then the Patriots had their fourth TD, a gorgeous 63-yard throw to Donte' Stallworth, who was re-signed last week to replace the 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.
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Tom Brady celebrates after running for a first down during the third quarter of Monday’s Texans-Patriots game. Brady threw four touchdown passes as New England won in a route, 42-14. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
BANKS: Patriots deliver message with dominating winGALLERY: Rare Photos of Tom Brady
New England Patriots fans everywhere, today is a much important day. For the last time until December 12th in the year 2112, it is the magnificent holiday known as Tom Brady day.
What does Tom Brady entail? Well on this day we celebrate the greatest quarterback in New England Patriots history and all his accomplishments. The Super Bowl championships, the records, and the MVP awards...
Maybe whenever Tom Brady does this he’s letting the defense know that he’s smarter than them.
Few athletes have the patience and desire to prepare themselves for battle after battle on the same level as Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Every week presents a new challenge whether it’s playing in the frigid cold of Green Bay, the intense heat of Miami, the incredibly loud environment...
After remarks that this game might have been the biggest in the franchise of the team. After Texans players saying all week they understood what the game meant in terms of how things could shape up come playoff time. Even after hearing the Patriots talk about how they were preparing all week, the Houston Texans could not find a way to get it done on Monday night against a high powered...
The New England Patriots have been the biggest contrast in the NFL for the 2012 season. While boasting the most prolific offense in the league, they also boast one of the worst defenses as well.We know that Tom Brady gives this team the best chance to win of any quarterback currently playing the game. That shows in a league leading 425.7 yards per game along with 472 total points...
Tom Brady is my Vader Juan…
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his wife, eventual billionaire model Gisele Bundchen, just welcomed their second child (Brady’s third) into the world. Joining the two boys that Brady has already fathered is a daughter named Vivian Lake Brady, which is considerably better than Katniss Vanellope. But I’m not here to make child birth announcements for millionaires...
There are a lot of things in the world that are closer than this game was. The distance between New York and L.A. is a good place to start.
Tom Brady showed he really wanted this one as he bumped heads with Brandon Lloyd after the wideout’s first touchdown of the night.
Anyone who said they saw this coming is a liar.
With a chance to move within a game of the AFC-leading Texans...
The Patriots insist that their rout of the Texans was not a ''statement'' game to show they could excel against the team with the NFL's best record.
They made one - loud and clear - nevertheless.
Tom Brady and company let the dwindling group of doubters know that they can dominate even their best opponents and are still improving as they head toward the playoffs...
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning leads all NFL All-Stars in balloting for the 2013 Pro Bowl with 823,372 votes, NFL.com announced today.
2013 Pro Bowl voting ends Monday, December 17.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady ranks second overall with 746,710 votes, while Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (699,866 votes), Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson...
Adrian Peterson has Eric Dickerson on his radar screen after another beastly effort on Sunday afternoon, this one against the Chicago Bears.
The Minnesota Vikings running back is doing all he can to make us question everything we thought we know about modern medicine, as he continues to chase down Dickerson’s single-season rushing record, just a year removed from major knee surgery...
The New England Patriots have placed wide receiver Donte' Stallworth on injured reserve with an ankle injury.
The move on Tuesday ended his season after just one game, a 42-14 win over the Houston Texans on Monday night in which he scored on his only reception, a 63-yarder from Tom Brady. The Patriots, who had released Stallworth following training camp, re-signed him on Dec...
Tom Brady may not have had much sleep on Sunday night — since he and wife Gisele Bundchen welcomed baby daughter Vivian Lake to the family on...
(Cross posted from CelticsLife.com with a few edits of the promotional stuff, courtesy CelticsLife writer Mike Dyer)With the entire region still flying high after the Patriots evisceration of the Texans on Monday night football, it's no surprise that the Pats became a big time talking point at Celtics practice today. First, we found out that not only was Doc Rivers on the sideline...
The New England Patriots entered Monday night as 5.5-point favorites against the AFC's top team, the Houston Texans.
Within 13 minutes, Tom Brady had already thrown two touchdown passes, including a beautiful 37-yard strike to Brandon Lloyd on play action, to put the Pats up 14-0.
By halftime, New England was up 21-0.
Although the offense struggled for most...