David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
First half notes as the Patriots lead the Texans 17-13 in the Divisional Playoffs.
With just 75 seconds to go, the Patriots held a 17-3 lead. But the Texans scored 10 unanswered points in those final minute-plus, and go into halftime down only four as a result.
For the Patriots, they bottled up Arian Foster for the better part of the first half, before he exploded on the Texans' touchdown drive for 47 yards. For the most part, however, the Patriots have done a great job winning at the point of attack on that side of the ball.
Offensively, the Patriots have done a pretty solid job protecting Tom Brady, although JJ Watt picked up a half-sack and another quarterback hit. Shane Vereen has been a huge spark on offense, with 85 total yards. He's been a factor as a runner and a receiver, and his speed and explosiveness has been hard to stop.
Wes Welker has also had a terrific first half. He has picked up six receptions for 120 yards, including a beautiful bomb down the left sideline, which he reeled in with one hand.
It's been a solid first half for the Patriots, although the way they closed the half caused some reason for concern. And while the Patriots have been solid defending the run, they haven't done much rushing the passer.
The Patriots get the ball to start the second half, and will have the chance to extend their lead back to two scores if they can get in the end zone.