Brady’s TD pass streak hits 45 games
the second quarter. They fell short both times with 4:44 and 1:52 left in the half.
Then, on the Patriots’ second series of the third quarter, Brady connected on a 63-yard touchdown pass to Donte’ Stallworth, who was signed last week after wide receiver Julian Edelman was placed on injured reserve.
It gave Brady his 18th game with at least four touchdown passes, moving ahead of Johnny Unitas into fourth place in NFL history
The Texans finally scored on a 1-yard run by Arian Foster with 6:12 left in the third quarter.
Brady finished 21 of 35 for 296 yards and threw a scoring pass for the 45th straight game, the thirdlongest streak of all-time.
Schaub was 19 for 32 for 232 yards.
Hernandez and Houston’s Andre Johnson both had eight catches.
Both teams have clinched playoff spots and were on six-game winning streaks. They are the highest-scoring teams in the NFL with the Patriots averaging 35.8 points per game and the Texans 29.3.
The Patriots have clinched the AFC East, while the Texans have locked up a playoff berth in the AFC South but have two games left with the Colts (9-4), who are second in the division.
Houston entered as the NFL’s only unbeaten team on the road at 6-0. But the Patriots haven’t lost at home in December since 2002.
The Texans hurt themselves with an illegal formation penalty that wiped out Foster’s 11-yard run on the first offensive play of the game, a defensive holding penalty against Brandon Harris that gave the Patriots a first down at the Houston 29 and an interception by Devin McCourty on Schaub’s pass into the end zone.
The Patriots scored on their first possession after a 31-yard punt return by Wes Welker, replacing Julian Edelman, set them up at their 44-yard line for their first series.
Stevan Ridley ran for 18 yards on the first three plays for a first down at the 38.
After an incompletion, Harris was called for defensive holding on third-and-6, giving the Patriots a first down. Brady then completed a 25-yard pass to Welker, his 107th consecutive game with a reception.
And two plays later, Brady found Hernandez for his 7-yard scoring pass on the left side.