Texans torment Patriots

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Associated Press New England QB Tom Brady was harassed by the Texans Sunday night.

HOUSTON (AP) - Tom Brady was hit, hurried and harassed by the Houston Texans on Sunday night in a loss that kept the New England Patriots from becoming the first AFC team to clinch a playoff spot.

Deshaun Watson threw three touchdown passes and had the first TD reception of his career, and the Texans frustrated Brady in a 28-22 victory more lopsided than the score.

"Execution," Brady said. "Just got to do a better job, and it's tough to get behind and come back. Just put ourselves in a pretty deep hole and you can't do that on the road."

Brady completed two of his three TD passes in the final 4 minutes to pull within six. A Patriots (10-2) player got a hand on Jake Bailey's onside kick attempt with 50 seconds remaining, but the ball bounced out of bounds.

"There's really not a whole lot to say here," Belichick said. "The Texans did a good job tonight, across the board, in every area. They were just better than we were."

James White had a 12-yard reception for New England's first touchdown late in the third quarter, but Watson grabbed the first reception of his career on a flip from DeAndre Hopkins on a trick play with about 10 minutes left to make it 28-9.

The Patriots entered needing a win to clinch a playoff spot after Oakland's loss to Kansas City earlier in the day. Instead, they struggled to sustain drives, and Brady often looked upset on a night he was 24 of 47. He threw an interception and was sacked three times, hit on 12 other occasions and was seen yelling at his receivers on the sideline after a drive with several incompletions in the first half. He finished with 326 yards.

"We're all trying to do a good job out there," he said. "I give them credit, they played well. We didn't make enough plays. Just wasn't a great game."

Brady's performance gave him 3,000 yards passing (3,268) for the 17th time in his career, which is the second-most in NFL history behind 18 by Brett Favre.

New England dealt with a flu bug this week that swept through the locker room and left two players inactive Sunday. But Brady wouldn't use that as an excuse for their subpar work on Sunday night.

"Guys battled hard and I think you deal with a lot of adversity over the course of the season," he said. "I don't think that had any effect on the game. I think us trying to figure out how to do a better job for 60 minutes is what's most important ... we played against a good team on the road, and when you don't play good, you don't win. So we didn't deserve it."

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