FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The New England Patriots are headed behind to a informed spot: a AFC championship game.
Dion Lewis had a 13-yard touchdown accepting , a 98-yard kickoff lapse for a score, and a late 1-yard touchdown to assistance a Patriots reason off a Houston Texans 34-16 on Saturday night and allege to an NFL-record sixth true discussion pretension game.
New England will horde a leader of Sunday night’s Pittsburgh-Kansas City matchup subsequent Sunday for a right to play in a Super Bowl in Houston on Feb. 5.
“Whoever we play subsequent week is going to be a good football team,” Tom Brady said. “We’re going to have to play improved than we played tonight on offense.”
Lewis became a fifth Patriots actor to measure 3 touchdowns in a playoff game. He’s also a initial actor in a Super Bowl epoch to measure on a rush, a locate and a flog lapse in a postseason game.
“I usually approached it that we would be in there on each play. That’s usually a approach we prepare,” Lewis said. “So when it does happen, we won’t be surprised. I’ll always be ready.”
Bill Belichick’s Patriots (15-2) survived a dirty bid by a Texans’ top-ranked defense, that intercepted Brady twice. Houston’s special teams also forced a third turnover.
But a Texans (10-8) couldn’t find adequate traction on offense to take full advantage of a Patriots’ mistakes, settling for margin goals on both of Brady’s picks.
New England led usually 17-13 during a half, yet pushed a lead to 24-13 early in a third entertain on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Brady to James White.
Houston’s Brock Osweiler was intercepted 3 times after that, and a Texans managed usually a margin idea a rest of game.
It was a initial dermatitis diversion of a deteriorate for Lewis, who spent a initial 8 games of a deteriorate on harmed haven recuperating from offseason medicine on his left knee.
Brady finished 18 of 38 for 287 yards and dual touchdowns and was showered with chants of “MVP! MVP!” and “Brady! Brady!” late in a game. Julian Edelman was Brady’s many constant target, throwing 8 passes for 137 yards.
Osweiler was usually 23 of 40 for 198 yards with a dual turnovers.
“You need to gain on good opportunities opposite a football group like this,” Osweiler said. “That’s my fault, I’ll purify that up.”
When New England did have a round in a initial half, it gave Houston a solid diet of Lewis early with LeGarrette Blount entrance off an illness that singular him during use this week.
Without Blount to contend with, a Texans practical vigour to Brady.
A.J. Bouye intercepted a somewhat dismissed round by Brady late in a initial entertain on a pass that bounced out of a hands of receiver Michael Floyd. That led to a 27-yard margin idea that cut New England’s lead to 14-6.
On a indirect kickoff, Lewis coughed adult a round on a strike from Akeem Dent. Eddie Pleasant fell on it during a Patriots 12, and dual plays later, Brock Osweiler strike C.J. Fiedorowicz from 8 yards out to cut a necessity to 14-13.
Brady usually threw dual interceptions during a unchanging season. With his 28 touchdown passes, that was a lowest touchdown to interception ratio in NFL history.
“I’ll be behind subsequent season. I’ll be a Texans conduct coach. we have a five-year contract. This is Year 3. … But like I’ve also said, I’ve got to do a improved job.” — Houston manager Bill O’Brien.
Belichick and Brady modernized to their 11th discussion championship diversion together. No other conduct manager and starting quarterback twin given a 1970 partnership have left to some-more than six.
CLOWN TIME IS OVER
Jadeveon Clowney was in Brady’s face all game, flattening him in a initial half with a authorised strike and bringing him down a integrate of times in a second on plays that were a small some-more questionable.
In a third quarter, Brady was chased out of a slot before heaving a round downfield. Clowney dragged him to a turf, and Brady came adult kicking. The Patriots quarterback done his box to a referee, yet no chastisement was called.
Early in a fourth, yet Clowney was called for roughing a passer for Brady after he got absolved of a round and while he was in a clutches of defensive finish Christian Covington.
PILING UP POINTS
Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski continues to stand a NFL’s career postseason scoring list.
He done an additional indicate in a initial entertain to pass Jerry Rice and pierce into third place on a league’s career list. It was Gostkowski’s 133rd postseason point, violation a tie with a Hall of Fame receiver.
Texans: RB Tyler Ervin left in a second entertain with a concussion. Defensive finish Joel Heath exited in a fourth entertain with a knee damage and did not return.
Patriots: WR Chris Hogan left in a third entertain with a thigh injury.
Texans: End of season.
Patriots: Will horde possibly Pittsburgh or Kansas City in subsequent week’s AFC pretension game.
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