Quick Take: Patriots/Texans

It was over when ...

Joel Dreessen got the Texans going early, catching a touchdown on Houston's opening drive.

(Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

Brian Hoyer was unable to connect with Julian Edelman on fourth-and-3 with 18 seconds remaining as the Patriots turned the ball over on downs. Hoyer had come in for Tom Brady, who played the entire second half until that final drive.

Game ball

Rookie Arian Foster came in and gave Houston the balance offensively it had lacked for most of the season. Matt Schaub threw for his customary 303 yards and two touchdowns, but it was Foster's 119 yards on the ground and two fourth-quarter touchdowns that made the difference for the Texans.

Key Stat

This game was decided in the fourth quarter with Houston outscoring New England, 21-7. The Texans erased a 14-point deficit with three consecutive TD drives to end the game (not counting a one-snap victory formation drive).

Noteworthy

The Texans were eliminated from the playoffs when the Jets beat the Bengals on Sunday night. ... Patriots WR Wes Welker left in the first quarter with a knee injury and did not return. ... New England played its starters for most of the game, resting them only at the end of each half. ... Schaub started 16 games for the first time in his career. ... One season after knocking Brady out for the year, Texans S Bernard Pollard was once again the QB's nemesis, picking him off to set up Houston's winning TD drive.

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