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New England Patriots, Tom Brady stumped by Houston Texans in upset

HOUSTON – Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans didn’t merely hammer Bill Belichick’s team in primetime on Sunday night.

They did it with style.

Watson passed for 234 yards and 3 TDs and caught a 6-yard TD pass from star receiver DeAndre Hopkins off a razzle-dazzle play in the fourth quarter to highlight a 28-22 victory at NRG Stadium.

It was the first time that Watson and his coach, former Belichick assistant Bill O’Brien, beat the Patriots, and the contrast in energy and creativity from the previous defeats was striking.

With Houston’s defense — coordinated by another former Belichick assistant in Romeo Crennel — bringing constant blitzes to pressure Tom Brady (three sacks), New England’s offense was kept out of rhythm throughout the game.

Brady had a paltry 28.8 passer rating in the first half, when his interception set up Houston’s first touchdown. It didn’t get much better. New England didn’t score a touchdown until 11 seconds remained in the third quarter, then saw its late-game comeback attempt win fall short when it couldn’t recover an onside kick with less than a minute remaining.