Waste WatchQuestion of the Day: Penn StateMost Viewed StoryOn Time TrafficJames Holmes Court Appearance
National Football League

Patriots do it again, rally past woeful Texans

Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The New England Patriots engineered another second-half comeback and edged the Houston Texans by a 34-31 score at Reliant Stadium.

Stephen Gostkowski drilled two 53-yard field goals in the fourth quarter, the second giving the Patriots the lead with 3:12 remaining.

Tom Brady had 371 yards and two touchdowns on 29-of-41 passing for New England (9-3), which clinched its 13th straight winning season. Last week, the Patriots rallied from a 24-0 halftime deficit to beat the Denver Broncos in overtime.

New England was down 17-7 through two quarters to the Texans before producing points on its first five second-half possessions.

The Texans (2-10) put up a valiant fight, but still suffered their 10th consecutive loss.

Ben Tate rushed for three touchdowns and 102 yards on 22 carries against a New England defensive unit that began the week ranked 31st against the run. Case Keenum completed 15-of-30 passes for 272 yards and added his first career touchdown run.

The Patriots struck quickly to open the third quarter as Rob Gronkowski's 50- yard grab set up a 1-yard TD run by a determined James Develin. On their next drive, the Patriots covered 73 yards in three minutes and a 9-yard TD catch by Shane Vereen made it 21-17 in favor of the visitors.

A seesaw battle ensued as Keenum's 5-yard keeper around the left end restored the lead for Houston with 2:11 to go in the third.

New England then moved back ahead on LeGarrette Blount's 7-yard TD run. Blount and Vereen split the majority of the carries with Stevan Ridley inactive. Ridley had fumbled in three straight games.

A gross misplay by cornerback Kyle Arrington on the next Houston drive led to a 66-yard reception by DeAndre Hopkins. Back-to-back runs of four and 10 yards by Tate put the Texans up 31-28 with 13:09 left in the fourth quarter.

Gostkowski's long field goals sandwiched a three-and-out by the Texans.

Keenum didn't have an answer again. Facing a 4th-and-12 at the Houston 43 prior to the two-minute warning, he was pressured and his pass fell incomplete.

Keshawn Martin returned the game's opening kickoff to the Houston 44-yard line, but the Texans punted after marching to the New England 39.

Given terrific field position again following a three-and-out by New England, the Texans were able to capitalize this time. Starting from his own 48, Keenum twice hit a wide-open Andre Johnson for passes of 29 and 13 yards before Tate rushed for an 8-yard touchdown.

Houston's trend of starting drives in favorable position continued when cornerback Johnathan Joseph returned a Brady interception 31 yards to the New England 31. Randy Bullock then kicked a 43-yard field goal to give the Texans a 10-0 lead.

The Patriots began their next possession near midfield after a 41-yard kick return by Josh Boyce. Six plays later, they were on the board. Brady threw a low pass to Gronkowski, but the tight end made the shoestring catch and rolled into the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown with 1:25 remaining in the first quarter.

The New England defense then forced a turnover as cornerback Logan Ryan picked off Keenum, who was under duress, in the red zone. The Patriots looked to tie the game on the ensuing drive, but Gostkowski missed a field goal try of 55 yards.

Gostkowski had converted 21 consecutive field goals, two shy of Adam Vinatieri's single-season record set in 2004.

Another short field resulted in another touchdown run for Tate, whose 20-yard scamper made it 17-7 late in the second quarter.

Game Notes

Brady reached 3,000 passing yards for the 11th time in his career ... Gronkowski had a game-best 127 yards on six catches ... The Patriots avoided their first four-game road losing streak since 2000 ... Julian Edelman totaled 101 yards on nine receptions for New England ... Johnson made eight grabs for 121 yards. He became the second-fastest player to reach 900 career receptions in NFL history, doing so in 150 games. Marvin Harrison owns the record at 149 games.

12/01 17:09:23 ET

Powered by The Sports Network.