The Patriots were not expected to lose to the Texans, but they managed to this Sunday.
Patriots Lose to the Texans
The Pats’ offense was far from bad, as Cam Newton passed for 365 yards. However, Newton did have 60 passing yards that came on the last drive of the game. Most of these yards were from a Hail Mary to TE Ryan Izzo that came up well short but was caught. Despite this offensive output, the Patriots found themselves in a 7 point hole with 4 minutes to play. After moving down the field into Texans territory, the Patriots faced a 4th down and 4. Cam Newton attempted to escape from the Texans’ blitz, but could not get a clean throw away. The pass fell incomplete, and the Patriots’ best chance to tie the game had dissolved. The Patriots would get the ball back with under 15 seconds to go, but could not get a Hail Mary to the endzone.
This game had massive implications for the Patriots’ playoff hopes. With a win, they would have been at .500, and still in play to finish 11-5. Following today’s loss, the Patriots’ best case scenario is 10-6. One of the only scenarios for the Patriots to play after Week 17 is if they finish even with the Raiders. This would give the Patriots the tiebreaker and edge the Raiders out. But, it is very unlikely. Even worse for the Patriots, they face young star Kyler Murray and the Cardinals next week. This matchup will be especially tough considering how pitiful the Patriots’ defense looked against Deshaun Watson. Watson was able to escape the rush and make plays multiple times, which is some Murray is also capable of. It is really counter-intuitive how the Patriots were able to contain Lamar Jackson but had trouble with Watson.
Injuries also hindered the Patriots, as RB Rex Burkhead exited the game with a knee injury. It’s safe to assume he will be out for a week plus. Burkhead had become a regular part of the offense, making this injury hurt even more. In all, the Patriots shattered their momentum following a 2 game win streak and made their playoff path nearly impossible. It would surprise me if the Patriots finish above the Dolphins in the AFC East.
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