How the Patriots beat the Texans, 41-28, in real time:
4:31- J.J. Watt needs to take it down a notch, CBS shows him doing pushups on the sideline during the pregame.
4:40-Danieal Manning nearly returns the opening kickoff for a TD. 94 yards to New England’s 12, Devin McCourty chased him down.
4:42-James Casey drops a pass on the goal-line.
4:43-Matt Schaub airmails a wide open Andre Johnson in the back of the end zone, they settle for a 27-yard Shayne Graham field goal. 3-0 Texans but it could have easily been 7-0.
4:46-First Patriots play is a run up the middle by Danny Woodhead for no gain, um ok?
4:47-8-yard catch by Wes Welker.
4:47-New England goes 3-and-out on their first possession as Brady can’t connect with Brandon Lloyd on a 3rd and 2 pass.
4:48-Booming 61-yard punt by Zoltan Mesko pins Houston back at their own 16, good coverage by the Patriots punt return team on that one.
4:51-10-yard catch by Owen Daniels.
4:51-11-yard catch by Johnson.
4:52-13-yard catch by Arian Foster on a screen pass. 3 straight first downs for Schaub on passes.
4:53-Vince Wilfork tackles Foster for no gain.
4:54-Patriots blitz Schaub, he finds Daniels for a 5-yard catch but the Texans are forced to punt. It is downed at New England’s 12, time for the offense to join the fun.
4:57-4-yard catch by Aaron Hernandez.
4:57-6-yard catch by Hernandez.
4:57-Shane Vereen gets shoved out of bounds by Connor Barwin for a loss of 1, where’s Stevan Ridley?
4:58-Brady looks for Rob Gronkowski down the sideline, he catches it but it is out of bounds. Even worse, he looks to be banged up-favoring that arm.
4:59-11-yard catch by Welker on 3rd down. Gronk is shown on the bench in pain and Woodhead is questionable with a thumb injury.
5:00-Brady gets sacked by Watt for a loss of 9.
5:01-11-yard catch by Welker.
5:01-Welker drops what would have been a first down catch. Woof, not a good start for the Patriots offense. They punt it back to Houston, they’ll start on their own 20.
5:04-14-yard catch by Johnson.
5:06-Jerod Mayo breaks up a 3rd down pass intended for his former college teammate Foster. Texans punt it for the 2nd time as well.
5:09-Hey Ridley is still on the team! 14-yard run on his first touch.
5:09-Bradie James takes Ridley down for a loss of 2.
5:10-13-yard catch by Ridley on a little dump off pass. Not something you see everyday.
5:11-25-yard catch by Vereen on the sideline, nice move to stay inbounds and pick up extra yardage.
5:11-14-yard catch by Hernandez down to the 1.
5:12-Patriots go hurryup and Vereen waltzes in untouched. 7-3 Patriots, that’s more like it. 65-yard scoring drive after a bad punt by Houston.
5:15-Pretty 16-yard diving catch by Johnson.
5:16-Mayo tackles Foster for a loss of 2.
5:16-12-yard catch by Foster on a screen pass to end the 1st quarter, Houston will have it at their own 47 to start the 2nd quarter.
After 1st quarter: Patriots 7, Texans 3. New England looks OK after that brutal kick return by Manning, Gronk and Woodhead’s injuries are the big issues at the moment.
5:19-Keep running up the middle Texans, great idea. Wilfork tackles Foster for no gain.
5:21-Patriots defense is doing a very nice job, they force another Houston punt (their 3rd).
5:25-30-yard catch by Welker on 3rd down.
5:25-20-yard run by Vereen.
5:26-8-yard run by Vereen.
5:27-Another drop for Welker on what should have been a 1st down grab.
5:27-Vereen jukes Barwin out of his cleats for 6 yards and a 1st down, easily could have been a loss on 3rd down.
5:29-Delay of game on Lloyd, who threw the ball at the referee after an incomplete pass by Brady. Relax buddy.
5:30-12-yard catch by Vereen on a screen pass.
5:30-Hernandez had a step but Brady put it over his head in the end zone. Patriots settle for a 37-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski, 10-3 New England.
5:34-14-yard catch by Johnson.
5:34-Foster breaks his first decent run, 8 yards.
5:35-Holding on Houston, their first penalty of the game.
5:36-24-yard catch by DeVier Posey.
5:36-Nice play by Steve Gregory to break up a pass intended for Daniels.
5:37-Dont’a Hightower suplexes Posey for a loss of 2 on a screen pass that had no chance of success.
5:38-5-yard catch by Garrett Graham but Gregory cuts him down. New England’s defense is really playing well, Houston is completing some passes but they can’t put any good drives together. Plus Foster has been a non-factor thus far.
5:42-Ridley tackled by Watt for a loss of 1.
5:44-13-yard catch by Welker, 1st down.
5:45-7-yard catch by Lloyd.
5:45-6-yard run by Ridley.
5:45-47-yard catch by Welker, amazing grab down the sideline. Kareem Jackson was right on him but Welker’s slight pushoff gave him enough space. Welker’s 120 receiving yards in the 1st half are already a career-high (for a game).
5:46-8-yard TD pass to an uncovered Vereen. 17-3 Patriots.
5:50-35-yard kick return by Manning and Gostkowski takes him down with a horse collar tackle (15 yards).
5:50-21-yard run by Foster.
5:51-19-yard run by Foster.
5:54-4-yard run by Foster down to the 1.
5:55-Hell of a drive by Foster, that was all him. His 1-yard TD run will be reviewed. He might not have gotten over the goal-line there but it was called a TD on the field, it’s always tough to overturn.
5:59-The TD stands. 17-10 Patriots with 1:15 left in 1st half. That was huge for Houston, they desperately needed that going into the break.
6:01-4-yard run by Vereen, interesting call since New England has 2 timeouts left. Guess they don’t really care about scoring before halftime.
6:02-Well that was dumb, they chose to throw it on 3rd down. Watt and Barwin crushed Brady and he threw an incomplete pass.
6:04-Texans get it back and Schaub hits James Casey for a 9-yard catch. Houston uses its first timeout, they have it at their own 48.
6:05-10-yard catch by Daniels, Texans timeout.
6:07-5-yard catch by Daniels. Houston will attempt a 55-yard field goal with 2 seconds left. He drills it, a career-long for the one-time Patriot. 17-13 New England ahead at halftime, they just handed Houston those three points. Granted Graham had to make an absurd kick.
Halftime: Patriots 17, Texans 13. New England dominated for much of the half but the scoreboard doesn’t show it. Houston scored the last 10 points and they have all the momentum right now.
6:24-Brady’s first pass of the 2nd half is nearly intercepted.
6:25-6-yard catch by Welker.
6:25-6-yard catch by Hernandez on 3rd down.
6:26-6-yard catch by Welker on a quick screen.
6:27-40-yard catch and run by Hernandez, Houston had no shot to stop him on that.
6:27-4-yard run by Ridley.
6:28-8-yard TD run by Ridley. 24-13 Patriots. Way to answer by New England after their bizarre end to the 1st half (7 plays, 69 yards, 3:30). All 3 TDs for the Pats have been by running backs: Vereen (2) and Ridley.
6:32-6-yard run by Foster.
6:33-Daniels fumbles after a short catch, the Patriots recovered it but apparently forward progress had already been ruled. Huge break for Houston, that seemed like a totally bogus call.
6:35-No worries, Patriots hurry Schaub into an incomplete pass and Houston punts it away. That flew in the face of all the Patriots haters who say they “get all the calls.” Moving on.
6:35-Welker hangs onto the punt despite getting hit really hard. That seems to happen to him every game (usually after a catch). He is as tough as they come.
6:37-4-yard catch by Vereen.
6:39-Brady gets great protection but nobody is open, Patriots go 3-and-out. Mesko angles his punt out of bounds at Houston’s 10. Nice job Zoltan.
6:42-False start by the Texans.
6:43-Great read by Schaub, screen to Foster goes for 28 yards.
6:44-Haha Schaub got away from Wilfork but then he fumbled it by himself. Luckily, he recovered.
6:45-22-yard catch by Johnson on 3rd and 16. Ugh.
6:45-7-yard run by Foster. He is really playing well in the 2nd half after not doing much in the 1st half.
6:46-5-yard catch by Casey.
6:47-Talib takes down Foster on a 2-yard catch then continues to woof in his face. Foster comically pushes him away multiple times.
6:48-That’ll do Schaub, he throws an interception (first of the game) right over the middle to Rob Ninkovich. First career INT for Ninkovich in the playoffs, that was huge. Possibly the turning point of the game.
6:50-9-yard run by Ridley.
6:51-14-yard catch by Hernandez.
6:52-7-yard catch by Lloyd.
6:52-5-yard run by Ridley, quick count and Ridley takes it 23 yards down to the 5.
6:53-5-yard TD catch by Lloyd, Brady threw a quick pass to him before Houston’s defense was ready. 7 points after the Ninkovich INT, that works. Patriots in complete control, 31-13 Patriots. That was Lloyd’s first career playoff TD (since it’s his first career playoff game). 40th career TD pass for Brady, 3rd all-time.
6:57-8-yard catch by Graham.
6:57-Mayo tackles Foster for no gain.
6:59-Texans will have 4th and inches when the 4th quarter starts. Good luck to Gary Kubiak for finding the right play on his enormous playsheet.
End of 3 quarters: Patriots 31, Ravens 13. Will Houston go for it from their own 23? I would punt it away since if they get stuffed, it’s over.
7:01-Wow, Texans ran a toss that just barely works. Foster had plenty of space but Talib closed fast and took him down. It’ll be close. Belichick throws the challenge flag.
7:04-It stands, worth a challenge. Oh well, Pats lose a timeout.
7:05-Schaub scrambles but Wilfork gets enough of his leg to bring him down.
7:06-8-yard catch by Kevin Walter which means Houston has to go for it again on 4th and 1.
7:07-The Texans psyched themselves out there, throwing it on 4th and 1? Kubiak could have challenged the spot on Walter’s catch. Of course he didn’t, that’s too risky. This isn’t a win or go home game.
7:08-Goodnight Texans, gorgeous 33-yard TD catch by Vereen. He’s having the game of his life, 3 TDs (a career-high). 38-13 Patriots, this is over.
7:12-Manning looks like Devin Hester, Pats will have to clean that up next week. 69-yard return.
7:12-7-yard run by Foster.
7:14-Foster gains 2 on 4th and 1.
7:14-Posey juggles a catch in the end zone but catches it out of bounds. That wasn’t Schaub’s fault.
7:15-Kubiak remembers that he can challenge calls so he throws his flag. CBS gave us like 3 angles of the replay but none of them were conclusive at all either way.
7:18-It’s overturned and called a TD for Posey, seems like the correct ruling. 38-20 Patriots with 11:35 left in the 4th quarter.
7:22-1st and 10 and New England elects to throw it (incomplete). Interesting.
7:23-5-yard catch by Lloyd.
7:23-Pass interference on Hernandez wipes out a long catch and run by him.
7:25-Brady avoided a sack but missed Lloyd who was open. Mesko’s punt gets a favorable roll, 64 yards back to Houston’s 21.
7:26-6-yard catch by Daniels, Brandon Spikes hits him squarely in the back. That had to hurt.
7:27-7-yard catch for Walter and Gregory gets called for hitting a defenseless receiver.
7:28-9-yard catch by Foster.
7:28-Loss of 1 on Foster’s catch, Mayo tackled him.
7:29-24-yard catch by Daniels.
7:29-12-yard catch by Daniels gets it down to the 4.
7:31-Justin Francis gets called for encroachment. It’ll be 3rd and goal from the 1 for the Texans, injury timeout as Posey is shaken up.
7:34-Yikes, just read on Twitter reports that Gronk broke his forearm again so he’s done for the playoffs. Johnson catches a swing pass for no gain, he’s stacked up by McCourty and Dennard.
7:35-Texans convert on 4th and Goal from the 1, Schaub hits Foster for his 2nd TD of the game. Johnson catches a jump ball for the 2-point conversion. 38-28 Patriots with 5:11 left.
7:38-Good bouncing onside kick by Graham but Ninkovich was able to come up with it. That would have been scary.
7:39-6-yard run by Ridley.
7:40-Texans call a timeout ahead of 3rd and 2 for the Patriots. This is an important play.
7:41-Holding on Houston negates the pass they knocked down.
7:42-Texans take another timeout after a 6-yard run by Ridley.
7:43-Last timeout for the Texans, Patriots face 3rd and 2. If they convert this, that could be it.
7:44-Clutch 8-yard catch by Lloyd.
7:49-Patriots kneel down and they’ll take a timeout.
7:50-38-yard field goal by Gostkowski, Patriots up 41-28 with 1:14 left.
7:54-16-yard catch by Johnson.
7:54-15-yard catch by Casey.
7:55-9-yard catch by Daniels and it’s over.
Final-Patriots 41, Texans 28. Bring on Ray Lewis, Joe Flacco and the Ravens. It’s a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship game. Should be a good one. Baltimore beat New England earlier this season and their games are always tight. With Gronk done, I haven’t heard any followup on Woodhead or Chandler Jones’ injuries. Hope they’re alright. This was Belichick’s 18th career playoff win (3rd all-time behind Tom Landry-20-and Don Shula-19). It was Brady’s 17th career win as a starting QB, most all-time in NFL history.