FOXBOROUGH — Everything you need to know from the Patriots’ loss to the Texans in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:
Sixth loss makes postseason run a long shot: The Patriots looked to have a shot at the postseason once they won two straight to get to 4-5, but a loss to the 2-7 Texans — who had only beaten the Jaguars — leaves them basically no room for error with four wild-card teams in front of them with three losses. Now, I'm not going to completely rule them out — I can't because before the season I predicted them to start 4-6 with a loss in Houston (OK, not this team) and for them to close with six-straight wins — but it does get a lot more challenging. You thought the Ravens win bought them an extra game, but then they gave it right back. Tough blow.
Defense had no answers for Deshaun Watson: The Texans' QB was 28 of 37 for 344 yards, two passing touchdowns, 36 yards rushing and another rushing touchdown on Sunday. Last year, Watson was 18 of 25 for 234 yards and three passing TDs. Combined: 46 of 62 for 578 yards, five passing TDs and six total TDs. Watson did whatever he wanted to in this game. The Patriots often played coverage in zone and he completely torched them. When they did decide to blitz, he made them pay. Watson was terrific in this game, and the Patriots were not. They allowed six pass plays of 20 or more yards. That's really not good.
Offense grinds to a halt: Things got off to a good start offensively for the Patriots as they rolled 84 yards in 10 plays and Damien Harris scored untouched from 9 yards out. After that, it was rough sledding for a while. Over the next four possessions — until the middle of the third quarter — the Patriots ran 22 plays for a total of 85 yards. Patriots weren't helped by a season-high seven penalties, for 55 yards. It seemed like every other play there was either a penalty, a poor pass by Cam Newton, a batted pass, missed block or just a flat-out negative play. This unit has a very narrow path to success and it doesn't include a grenade going off every other snap.
To me, this play near the end of the first half changed the complexion of the game.
3-7-NE 28 (3:13) (Shotgun) C.Newton pass short right to J.White to NE 28 for no gain (T.Adams) [L.Johnson].