Patriots vs. Texans game recap: Everything you need to know

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In no way was the New England Patriots’ Week 5 victory over the Houston Texans easy.

Houston, with rookie Davis Mills under control, lost 40-0 against the Buffalo Bills in Week 4. With the Texans being down to their third quarterback, they appeared to be defeated heading into the home matchup against Bill Belichick’s team. Mills had another thing coming for the Patriots, despite losing the game 25-22 from a game-winning chip shot by Nick Folk.

Mills finished the game throwing for 312 yards and three touchdowns with 10.8 yards per throw. Mac Jones, who executed his first game-winning drive, did just enough to counter Mills’ performance.

Here’s everything to know about the win.

Final score: Patriots win, 25-22

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F

NE

0

9

6

10

25

HOU

6

9

7

0

22

Biggest storyline from the game

Without Folk, the Patriots don’t walk away with the win.

He had more than half of the team’s total points (13) and hit two field goals from 52 yards out. Jones, as he’s done all season, struggled to convert in the red zone and Folk continues to be the saving grace for a Patriots team that hasn’t found its identity yet.

The last time the 36-year-old hit a 52-yarder was 2015.

The Patriots are lucky to head into next week with a 3-2 record.

It was over when...

Texans punter Cameron Johnston hit his own player with the ball, resulting in a punt for zero yards. It was attempted trickery that went awry.

The Patriots followed that play up with four consecutive drives — one of which was a touchdown by Hunter Henry. The two plays following the punt were field goals, then Henry’s touchdown occurred and that was followed up by Folk’s game-winner.

The Texans followed that play up with a punt, missed field goal, punt and finally a fumble. All momentum went downhill for the Texans and Belichick took full advantage.

Keys to the game

  • Keeping the penalties down with four backup offensive linemen on the field was crucial. The Patriots only had five penalties for 27 yards, compared to the Texans’ eight penalties for 70 yards. Costly mistakes have hurt the Patriots all season and they continue to improve as the season progresses.

  • Third-down efficiency was high, which has been a trend for Jones throughout the beginning of the season. Jones converted 6 of 11 third downs, and his most important one was the touchdown to Henry to tie the game.

  • Resiliency by Jones led the Patriots to this victory. Even when Damien Harris fumbled and coughed up the ball on the one-yard line, Jones never gave up. His attitude when things get tough, similar to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, is enough to give the Patriots hope in any situation.

3 stars of the game

⭐️⭐️⭐️: Folk, K: As aforementioned, the kicker was the most important player throughout the game. His total points and big-time plays kept the Patriots alive in difficult moments and he sealed the game with no issue.

⭐️⭐️: Henry, TE: The newly-acquired tight end is stepping up as the top player at the position. He finished the game with six catches for 75 yards and a touchdown — giving him the edge over Jonnu Smith in these categories on the season.

⭐️: Jones, QB: His toughness and ability to move on to the next play continues to put the Patriots in great position to win. He’s only going to grow as the season continues and his knowledge expands.

Next up: vs. the Dallas Cowboys for Week 6

Things will get much more difficult next week against the Cowboys.

Dak Prescott is one of the league’s best quarterbacks and the weapons have been more superior than Tom Brady’s crew at times. Ezekiel Elliot, Tony Pollard, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Cedrick Wilson is a tough group to slow down.

The Patriots will need a healthy offensive line and a top-notch defensive gameplan to slow Dallas down.

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