The New England Patriots started the second half with a 13-10 lead and received the opening kickoff (click here for a recap of the first half). QB Jimmy Garoppolo took the field with the second- and third-string offense to try and build upon that lead.
The Patriots and the Houston Texans exchanged punts- Patriots CB Justin Coleman muffed one return, but the Patriots recovered- as Garoppolo connected with TE James O’Shaughnessy to move down the field an into field goal range. K Stephen Gostkowski connected on a 42-yarder to take a 16-10 lead, building upon his strong day at the office.
The Texans responded quickly with QB Deshaun Watson dumping the ball off to RB D’Onta Foreman who took the ball 63 yards to the Patriots goal line. New England LB Elandon Roberts suffered an injury and left the game on this play. Two plays later, Watson shook EDGE Kony Ealy in the open field and waltzed into the end zone to take a 17-16 lead.
The first play of the Patriots subsequent drive was a disaster as Texans pass rusher Tony Washington turned the corner untouched and crushed Garoppolo and forced a fumble. Fortunately for the Patriots, Brandon Weeden is Brandon Weeden and the Texans were unable to take advantage of the good field position and left with just a field goal and a 20-16 lead.
Garoppolo and the Patriots offense responded well with WR Austin Carr making some nice catches and RB D.J. Foster acting as a spark plug. Foster turned a quick pass into a 25-yard score that gave the Patriots back a 23-20 lead.
The Patriots defense forced another three-and-out against Weeden, but Garoppolo threw his worst pass of the preseason and the Texans intercepted and returned to the Patriots 4-yard line. Garoppolo should’ve thrown the ball out of bounds, but instead threw a dangerous floater right to a Texans defender. Foreman scored on a 4-yard run the very next play to give Houston a 27-23 lead.
Garoppolo wouldn’t have a chance to atone for that interception as Jacoby Brissett took over and led a surprising 7-play, 21 yard drive that ended in a punt. The two teams exchanged punts to close out the game, with Cyrus Jones providing the Patriots some excellent field position on punt returns.
Unfortunately, Jacoby Brissett was unable to take advantage of the field position, leading a three-and-out from the Texans 38-yard line, and then starting the last drive at mid-field before reaching the 8-yard line and fumbling the ball through the end zone, resulting in a turnover and Texans football with 38 seconds left in the game.
The Texans drained the clock and held on to win 27-23.
This marks the second-straight week where Brissett was unable to stage a fourth quarter comeback drive, coming up short in both cases.
RB D.J. Foster had an excellent game, gaining 75 yards and a touchdown on 10 touches and he’s made a case to stick around the roster, even though it’s tough to find him an available spot. CB Kenny Moore made a strong tackle, but it might not be enough to make the team.
The Patriots will play the Detroit Lions for the third week of the preseason.