8:19- The Broncos and Bengals both lost today, and now the Patriots truly do control their own destiny. If they win out, they own the top seed. Let's take a look at the inactives for tonight's game.
Patriots Inactives- WR Julian Edelman, WR Damaris Johnson, S Tavon Wilson, LB Dont'a Hightower, G Josh Kline, DL Geneo Grissom, DL Sealver Siliga
Texans Inactives- QB Brandon Weeden, CB Darryl Morris, S Rahim Moore, ILB Justin Tuggle, G Oday Aboushi, TE Garrett Graham, DE Jeoffrey Pagan
8:30- The Patriots won the toss and deferred as usual; the Texans offense will get their first crack at it. Jamie Collins is back for his second straight game and may dominate.
8:33- Dominique Easley comes up with a great sack on third down to force the three-and-out and get the ball for Tom Brady and the Patriots offense.
8:36- Three-and-out for the Patriots offense; two short runs by Blount followed by an attempted bomb to Brandon Lafell led to a punt and the New England defense will return to the field.
8:40- The Texans run a foolish "Wildcat" play on third and three and get stuffed, forcing them to punt. Keshawn Martin had a strong return and the Patriots offense will setup and their own 45.
8:47- Touchdown, Patriots!! Tom Brady hits Keshawn Martin to give the Patriots an early lead. JJ Watt was flagged for a late hit on the touchdown pass; I'm not really sure why he did it, but it was a dumb play. Rob Gronkowski had the key play on the drive with a 45 yard catch and run. Patriots 7, Texans 0
8:57- The Texans drive down and kick a 37 yard field goal, cutting the lead to four. Malcolm Butler got burned by Nate Washington on a double move and that put the Texans in position to score. New England's defense did a good job to force the field goal and not allow a touchdown. Patriots 7, Texans 3
9:11- Stephen Gostkowski connects from 43 yards out to extend the Patriots lead back to seven. Blount had some strong runs on the drive and their were some great play designs, specifically the misdirection to Keshawn Martin, but a drop by Brandon Lafell killed the drive and they were forced to attempt the field goal. Patriots 10, Texans 3
9:17- Nick Novak connects from 45 yards out to cut the Patriots lead back to four. The Texans had success on the ground with Grimes, but the Patriots tightened up at the 25 again and wouldn't bend anymore for the Texans. Patriots 10, Texans 6
9:29- New England is forced to punt and the Texans offense will take over at their own three after excellent coverage by Matt Slater. New England's defense will look to make something happen here. Patriots 10, Texans 6
9:35- Great job by the Patriots defense as the force the three-and-out and get the ball back to the Patriots offfense with 2:45 remaining in the first half. Keshawn Martin had a 12 yard punt return, setting the Patriots up at the Texans 41. Any type of score here would be welcomed by the Patriots because they get the ball to start the second half. The ideal scenario is they score a touchdown to end the half. Patriots 10, Texans 6
9:47- Touchdown, Patriots!! Rob Gronkowski makes the catch from one yard out to put the Patriots up by 11 with 14 seconds to go in the first half. The Rob Gronkowski Effect is real- this is a different offense with him on the field and when he's healthy, the Patriots are almost impossible to defend. Patriots 17, Texans 6
9:50- The Texans take a knee and we head to halftime with the Patriots leading, 17-6. New England receives the kickoff to open the second half and will be looking to do what they do best- score a touchdown to end the first and start the second. Patriots 17, Texans 6
10:16- What appeared to be a great catch by James White is negated by instant replay (I still say his toe was down inbounds along with the other foot) and the Patriots are forced to settle for a 49-yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal. New England goes up by two touchdowns; let's see if the defense can continue their strong play. Patriots 20, Texans 6
10:22- The Patriots defense gets a little lucky as the Texans leave big plays on the field again due to drops and underthrows, but once again, the punt return team coughs one up and the Texans recover. This is an epidemic for the Patriots special teams; this has to stop or people are going to lose jobs. Three lost fumbles in three games- wow. Patriots 20, Texans 6
10:27- Great series by the Patriots defense as they pick up a turnover on downs. The last two weeks the defense allowed Denver and Philly to score after the big fumbles but this week they step up and stuff the Texans offense. Brady and the Patriots offense will look to drive and score touchdown that could end this. Patriots 20, Texans 6
10:31- The Texans force the Patriots off the field after three plays and give their offense a chance to stay in the game. New England needs to open it up a little more on offense and trust the Brady can get the ball out quick enough. Patriots 20, Texans 6
10:40- Jabaal Sheard with a strip sack results in a 23 yard loss and a Texans punt. The Patriots offense has had plenty of chances to put this away but have struggled; let's see if they wake up. Patriots 20, Texans 6
10:45- Clowney sacks Brady on third and three and forces Ryan Allen to have to punt from out of his own end zone. Clowney ripped through a double team and looked like the top pick that he was. Patriots 20, Texans 6
10:48- The defenses continue to trade big blows, this time Rob Ninkowvich delivered the hit. New England takes over at their own 35 and will try to at least get a few first downs. They've had a tough time moving the ball; they should spread it out and try to get Houston on their heals. Patriots 20, Texans 6
10:53- Another awful series for the Patriots offense and the Texans will take over at their own 19 yard line. Bryan Hoyer got banged up on that last series so it should be interesting to see if he returns to the game. This has become a defensive struggle; Patriots 20, Texans 6
10:57- Jabaal Sheard steps up and makes another huge play, this time making a strip sack that sets the Patriots up at the five yard line. Patriots 20, Texans 6
10:59- Touchdown, Patriots!! James White scores on the draw from three yards out and the Patriots finally get a touchdown in the second half. The offense can thank the defense for keeping Houston smothered tonight because Brady and Co. have struggled big time. Patriots 27, Texans 6
11:09- The Texans made a nice play with a 41 yard throw-and-catch from Hoyer to Hopkins, but that is all they could muster as the Patriots defense continues to beat the hell out of Bryan Hoyer. He got rocked on 4th down and the Patriots offense will take over. Patriots 27, Texans 6
11:22- Houston takes over at their own 10 with 4:45 to go and down three touchdowns; TJ Yates will take over for Bryan Hoyer, who left with concussion symptoms. Patriots 27, Texans 6
11:25- New England's offense takes over once again with just over two minutes to go. The Patriots will jump back to the top of the AFC with this win tonight and are in the drivers seat for a bye and homefield throughout the playoffs. This team needs the bye to get healthy.
11:27- Brandon Bolden refuses to go down on third-and-eight and the Patriots pick up the first down with two minutes to go. The Texans are out of timeouts, so New England will be in victory formation to down it and run out the clock. Tough game injury wise- Blount, McCourty, Easley- but 11-2 and being back on top of the AFC is pretty sweet for the Patriots and their fans.
Be sure to join us next week when the Patriots welcome the Tennessee Titans to Foxboro in a 1:00 Sunday battle. Have a great night and thanks for being with us!
FINAL SCORE: PATRIOTS 27, TEXANS 6
Follow Me @https://twitter.com/chris_simoneau