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Patriots make statement in blowout win over Texans

Houston Texans v New England Patriots

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 10: Matt Schaub #8 of the Houston Texans is chased by Rob Ninkovich #50 of the New England Patriots in the first half at Gillette Stadium on December 10, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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The Houston Texans went into New England with the best record in the AFC, but the Patriots were the team that looked like the best in the conference.

Tom Brady threw for 296 yards and four touchdowns as the Patriots (10-3) throttled the Texans 42-14 on Monday night. A defense that struggled early in the season confounded Matt Schaub. Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork seemingly shutdown Arian Foster and the Texans’ (11-2) ground game by himself and the ball continuously bounced the Patriots way.

The Patriots are now a fourth quarter collapse against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 6 from a 10-game winning streak. It’s the fifth time this season the Patriots have scored more than 40 points in a game.

New England scored on each of their first three possessions in building a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter. Brady connected with tight end Aaron Hernandez for a 7-yard touchdown on their first possession of the game. Schaub missed a wide-open Foster in the middle of the field and forced a ball into the end zone that was intercepted by Devin McCourty. Brady then found receiver Brandon Lloyd for a 37-yard touchdown to give the Patriots a 14-0 lead.

Brady and Hernandez connected again on a 4-yard score as the Patriots took a 21-0 lead into halftime. New England got the ball to start the second half and converted that drive into a touchdown as well. Brady hit recently re-signed receiver Donte Stallworth for a 63-yard catch and run for a touchdown to go up 28-0 early in the third quarter.

After Foster scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to finally put the Texans on the board, another touchdown showed it was just not Houston’s night. Brady threw a screen pass to running back Danny Woodhead for 16 yards before the ball was punched out by Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. The ball bounced forward into the end zone and Patriots receiver Brandon Lloyd was waiting and fell on the loose ball for another score to take a 35-0 lead.

Stevan Ridley added a 14-yard touchdown run before both teams went to their benches. Houston backup quarterback T.J. Yates scored on a 1-yard run with two minutes to play.

Schuab finished 19 of 32 for 232 yards and an interception. Foster and Ben Tate each ran for just 46 yards for the Texans.

New England stays home next week to take on the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night. The loss for Houston ended a six-game winning streak and ended a stretch of four road games in five weeks for the Texans. Houston returns home to face the Indianapolis Colts next week.