Dec 13, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) and Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) speak after the game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday Night Football: Patriots Defeat Texans 27-6 and Clinch Playoff Spot

The New England Patriots defeated the Houston Texans 27-6 in Houston on Sunday Night Football. The Patriots clinch a playoff spot with the rout of the Texans and are the first team in the AFC to secure its spot in the postseason.

Quarterback Tom Brady threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns and the New England Patriots with that victory snapped a two-game losing skid. New England has now gone 214 straight games without losing three games in a row, which is the 2nd-longest streak in NFL history. The Patriots have won its last seven games after back to back losses by an average of 20.7 points during that streak.

In the first quarter, quarterback Tom Brady hit wide receiver Keshawn Martin for a tw0-yard touchdown pass and the Patriots led 7-0.

Texans responded toward the end of the first quarter, when New England’s defensive forced Houston to settle for a field goal, which Texans kicker Nick Novak nailed a 37-yard field goal at 2:38 to make the score 7-3 New England.

Toward the beginning of the second quarter, both teams traded field goals as Patriots’ kicker Stephen Gostkowski made a 43-yard field goal at 12:13, while Novak converted a 45-yard field goal. New England now led 10-6.

The Patriots extended its lead when Brady connected with tight end Rob Gronkowski for a one yard touchdown pass, which made the score 17-6 New England at halftime.

New England tight end Rob Gronkowski finished the game with four receptions for 87 yards and the one touchdown catch. Gronkowski now recorded his second straight season with at least 1,000 receiving yards and 10 receiving touchdowns and looks to add to the total this season with three games in the regular season remaining and the playoffs looming around the corner.

Dec 13, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) catches a touchdown pass past Houston Texans strong safety Quintin Demps (27) during the second quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 13, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) catches a touchdown pass past Houston Texans strong safety Quintin Demps (27) during the second quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

A unique stat that only Gronkowski has is now he has three seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards and ten receiving touchdowns. Gronkowski has more than any other tightend in NFL history with only Seattle tight end Jimmy Graham right behind him with at least two such seasons.

Another interesting stat about Gronkowski, is that he joins a list of two other players have had 10 touchdown receptions in five of their first six seasons in the NFL, those names are Randy Moss, Bob Hayes and now Rob Gronkowski. He joined the list last night on Sunday after hauling in his 10th touchdown reception of the season from Tom Brady before the half against Houston.

The only scoring in the third quarter, New England adding to its lead with another field goal from Gostkowski, which was 49-yard field goal at 11:48 and the Patriots led 20-6.
In the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Patriots scored a two-yard touchdown run from running back James White to illustrate that this game was one sided from the start as New England led 27-6 and won the game as the final score was 27-6.

Since the losses of Denver and Cincinnati, New England controls its own destiny in a quest to get the #1 overall seed in the AFC playoffs and home field advantage with a bye.

Al Michaels and Former Florida wide receiver Cris Collinsworth on the Gronkowski touchdown in the second quarter. 

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