Texans' season ends at hands of Patriots

Texans' season ends at hands of Patriots
January 13, 2013, 7:30 pm
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Kubiak: 'I think (Schaub) is one of the top QBs in football'

BOX SCORE


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The season's over.

The Texans lost 41-28 to the Patriots on Sunday.

The Texans came out firing against the Patriots when Danieal Manning returned the opening kickoff 94 yards to the Patriots' 12-yard line. A great return but Manning doesn't have Trindon Holliday speed and was caught from behind.

Two plays later Matt Schaub hit James Casey right in the hands for what would have been a sure touchdown, but the ball went right through Casey's hands and bounced off his chest. On the Next play Schaub missed a wide open Andre Johnson in the back of the endzone and the Texans settled for a 27-yard Shayne Graham field goal.

Both teams traded punts until the Patriots capped off a six-play, 65-yard drive that ended in a Shane Vereen one yard touchdown. The drive never even saw a third down and the Patriots took a 7-3 lead.

The Patriots would lead for the rest of the half. In the second quarter, Stephen Gostkowski would connect on a 37-yard field goal and  Tom Brady connected with Vereen for an eight-yard touchdown in the second quarter to make the score 17-3 Patriots. The Texans would answer with a touchdown and a field goal. Arian Foster punched home a one-yard touchdown run and Shayne Graham blasted a 55-yard field goal at the end of the half to make the score 17-13 with both teams heading to the locker room.

The Patriots started the second half with the ball and made the most of it. Brady led the offense on an efficient seven-play, 69-yard touchdown drive. This time it was Stevan Ridley who capped it off with an eight yard touchdown run making it 24-13 and the Texans season was unofficially over in the third quarter.

Turning Point

Trailing 24-13 in the third quarter the Texans were driving. Schaub had already completed a third and 16 to Andre Johnson. But five plays later, on the Texans next third down, Schaub was intercepted by Rob Ninkovich. Schaub was looking over the middle, didn't see Ninovich before he leaded up and picked off Schaub. The Patriots took just six plays to answer with a five-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Brandon Lloyd.

Offensive Hero

Tom Brady/Wes welker. Brady went for 296 yards and four touchdowns in the teams regular season meeting. Brady brought his game again. Brady was calm and collective in another postseason win with 344 yards and three touchdowns.

The Texans did a fantastic job on Wes Welker when these two teams met in December. Welker finished that game with just three catches and 52 yards. Welker had doubled that mark by halftime. Welker finished with a postseason career high six catches and 120 yards before the teams went to the locker rooms.

Honorable mention: Danieal Manning. Manning did everything he could in the return game, finishing with 216 return yards and notched returns of 94 yards and 69 yards.

Defensive Hero

Rob Ninkovich. Not only did Ninkovich change the game with his interception, he was all over the field, finishing with two passes defensed, one tackle for loss, and four tackles.

Defensive Zero

The Texans entire defense. Once again, Brady was too much for them. Brady opted to run the football or pass his way down the field at will. Brady went over 300 yard through the air for the fifth time in his playoff career. Houston surrendered over 100 yards rushing and allowed over 300 yards passing.

Key Stat

Tom Brady became the third quarterback in NFL history to throw 40 postseason touchdowns after connecting with Lloyd in the third quarter on a five-yard touchdown pass.

What's Next

Nothing. The Texans end their season in the Divisional round -- the same way they did last season.