x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

NFL: Brady inspires Patriots to 42-14 rout of Texans

Tom Brady landed four touchdown passes as New England sent a strong message to their rivals with a comprehensive defeat of the conference leaders.

Houston Texans' Danieal Manning and Whitney Mercilus block New England's Tom Brady.
Houston Texans' Danieal Manning and Whitney Mercilus block New England's Tom Brady.

The New England Patriots crushed the conference-leading Houston Texans 42-14 in an AFC showdown to re-establish themselves as the Super Bowl favourites.

Tom Brady tossed three of his four touchdown passes in the first half, where the home Patriots grabbed a 21-0 lead by halftime, and the New England defence flexed their muscle to deliver a seventh straight victory.

"It was a good game and we played hard," Brady said afterwards.

"It was a tough win. We took advantage of some turnovers we got and we can use this as something to build on."

The Patriots set the tone by scoring touchdowns on their first three drives, with Aaron Hernandez catching a pair of TD passes while Brandon Lloyd hauled in a 37-yard score.

Quarterback Matt Schaub was a disappointing 19-for-32 with 232 yards and an interception for the Texans. Arian Foster had 15 carries for 46 yards and a touchdown in the loss.

Brady finished with 296 yards passing and led two more New England TDs in the fourth where the Texans scored in the final couple minutes to lighten the blowout.

"We played a solid football game," said Bill Bilichek, the Patriots coach.

"We got good play from everybody on the line and our linebackers. The secondary also did a really good job."

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