New England struck first with a Tom Brady to Keshawn Martin touchdown pass in the first quarter. They would tack on a Stephen Gostkowski field goal in the second quarter.
Houston countered each of New England's first two scores with a pair of field goals. The first was set up on a long Nate Washington catch on a 3rd and 18. Malcolm Butler bit hard on a double move. The second was set up by a big Jonathan Grimes run.
Rob Gronkowski has returned from his knee injury and already made a big impact. He had a 45-yard reception on the Patriots' first touchdown drive, then caught an end zone fade in the closing seconds of the first half.
On the injury front, running back LeGarrette Blount had a strong start to the game, but suffered a thigh injury in the second quarter and is questionable to return. Linebacker Jonathan Freeny suffered a hand injury and is also questionable to return.
Gronkowski's touchdown set the Patriots up for the potential double-up, as they will also get the ball to begin the second half.