HOUSTON (AP) — Deshaun Watson threw for 344 yards and accounted for three touchdowns, and J.J. Watt defended a career-high four passes to lead the Houston Texans to a 27-20 win over the New England Patriots on Sunday.
Watson’s two touchdown passes and scoring run all came in the first half as the Texans (3-7) built a 21-10 halftime lead.
Watson and Houston’s offense slowed down after that to allow the Patriots (4-6) to get back into it. But a 46-yard field goal by Káimi Fairbairn extended the lead to 27-20 with about 3½ minutes to go.
Houston’s beleaguered defense sealed the victory with a stop after that. Watt swatted down Cam Newton’s pass on third down and heavy pressure from Justin Reid forced him to throw the ball away on fourth down to give the Texans the ball back.
It is the first time since 2009 that the Patriots will have at least six losses in a regular season.
It’s also the Texans’ first win of the season against a team besides the division-rival Jacksonville Jaguars. And the Texans’ win gave interim coach Romeo Crennel a rare victory by a former Bill Belichick assistant against his former boss.
Watt and Reid led the defense all game long with Watt knocking down multiple passes and Reid getting his first career sack and finishing with three tackles for losses and two quarterback hits.
The Texans’ NFL-worst run defense did a good job of limiting New England’s rushing. They held the Patriots to 86 yards rushing after they entered the game averaging 161.1 yards a game.
It was the first game in Houston with the roof open since Nov. 30, 2014, on a nice day where the temperature was 78 at kickoff. The crowd was limited to 12,503 because of coronavirus restrictions.
Newton threw for 365 yards and a touchdown, but was limited to a season-low 6 yards rushing.
New England got within 21-17 with about eight minutes left in the third quarter when Newton threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Damiere Byrd, who finished with six catches for 132 yards.
Houston settled for a 36-yard field goal later in the third after Watson’s pass on third-and-3 was too high for Keke Coutee.
A 36-yard field goal by Nick Folk cut the lead to 24-20 with about 7½ minutes left.
The Patriots led early after a 9-yard touchdown run by Damien Harris on their first possession.
Houston tied it up when Watson connected with Randall Cobb on a 3-yard score later in the first. Brandin Cooks had a 44-yard reception earlier in that drive to set up the score.
New England led 10-7 after a field goal in the second quarter when Watson scrambled 4 yards for a touchdown,dragging two defenders into the end zone with him. Watson threw passes of 25 and 21 yards on consecutive plays to get the Texans to the 4 before his scoring run.
The Texans made it 21-10 when Watson threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Coutee just before halftime.
New England: RB Rex Burkhead sustained a knee injury early in the third quarter and had to be helped off the field. He was later taken to the locker room on a cart.
Houston: Cobb injured a foot on the touchdown and didn’t return. … WR Kenny Stills injured a leg in the first half and didn’t return.
Patriots: Host the Cardinals next Sunday.
Texans: Visit the Lions on Thursday.
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