Foxborough (CBS HOUSTON) – It wasn’t the sharpest home post-season performance by the New England Patriots, but Dion Lewis would score three times to lead his team to a 34-16 victory over the Houston Texans in the AFC Divisional round playoff game at Gillette Stadium.
With the victory, New England advances to their sixth consecutive AFC Championship game, an NFL record.
The Patriots scored 34 points, but the Texans made some strong defensive plays throughout the game, including intercepting MVP candidate Tom Brady twice. Brady threw just two interceptions in 12 games this season.
The Patriots scored quickly on their second drive. On first down Texans corner AJ Bouye was called for a questionable pass interference penalty on Chris Hogan which set the Patriots up with a first down at the Houston 35 yard line.
Two plays later Brady found Lewis for a 13-yard touchdown to give New England a 7-0 lead with 9:34 left in the first quarter.
Brock Osweiler then led the Texans to their first scoring drive with a 14 play 62 yard drive, but a key CJ Fiedorowicz drop in the end-zone on first down from the 21 kept the Texans from scoring seven. Houston settled for a 33-yard Nick Novak field goal and trailed 7-3.
On the ensuing kickoff Lewis scored for the second time returning the ball 98 yards for the first postseason kickoff return touchdown in Patriots history to give the Patriots a 14-3 lead.
The Texans would get back into the game however, intercepting Tom Brady and turning that possession into a field goal to make it 14-6. They would then get a Lewis fumble on the kickoff and Osweiler found a wide open Fiedorowicz for a 10-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-13.
The Patriots would at a late 1st half field goal to go up 17-13 at the half.
The Second half was all Patriots. Brock Osweiler threw three interceptions and a lone Nick Novak field goal would be the only Texans points of the half.
Brady picked apart the Texans defense and Lewis added a rushing touchdown to his other two touchdowns as the Patriots rolled to a 34-16 win and advanced to host the AFC Championship next Sunday.
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