Patriots Get Win, Clinch Playoff Spot [VIDEO]
On a night when Rob Gronkowski returned to the field the New England Patriots got back in the win column with a 27-6 win over Houston, clinched a playoff spot, but also lost four players during the game with injuries.
The Pats grabbed the early 7-0 lead on a touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Keyshawn Martin and would never trail on their way to snapping a two game losing streak. Brady finished with 212 yards passing and threw a second touchdown pass when he hit Rob Gronkowski in the end zone during the 4th quarter. Gronk had 4 catches for 87 yards in his return to the field form a knee injury.
Defense set the tone for New England as they allowed the Texans to earn only 7 first downs in the game and sacked quarterback Brian Hoyer 6 times before he left with a concussion. On the night Houston was only able to generate 187 yards of total offense.
It was not all good news for the Pats as four players left the game with injuries. LeGarrette Blount left in the first half with a hip injury and was followed by Jonathan Freeney (hand), Dominique Easley (knee) and Devin McCourty (ankle). Each player had x-rays at the stadium and did not return.
The win combined with losses by the Broncos and Bengals puts the Pats back in the first place spot in the division. They can clinch the AFC East tonight if the Giants beat the Dolphins in the Monday night game.