Brady’s TD pass streak hits 45 games

Tex­ans

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - C

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.

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