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Cam Newton's Comeback Bid Falls Short As Texans Beat Patriots 27-20

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Patriots fell behind the Texans late in the second half on Sunday. They never recovered.

In a back-and-forth affair, the Patriots never fully climbed out of the 11-point hole they fell into before halftime, ultimately losing 27-20.

The loss drops the Patriots to 4-6 on the season. The Texans improved to 3-7 with the win.

The Patriots got the ball at their own 25-yard line with 4:11 left in the game, trailing by seven points. After nearly getting picked off by J.J. Watt, Cam Newton connected with Jakobi Meyers for 14 yards, converting a third-and-10.

A 10-yard screen pass to James White got the Patriots to the Texans' 30-yard line just after the two-minute warning. Isaiah Wynn suffered an injury with 1:20 left, halftime the game just before a third-and-4 at the Houston 24-yard line. Newton's pass was batted at the line by J.J. Watt, leading to a fourth-and-4.

On fourth down, Newton spun away from heavy pressure but ultimately was chased down as he launched a desperation heave. The pass fell incomplete, giving the ball to Houston with just over a minute left to play.

The Texans then ran the clock down to 19 seconds before punting back to New England. The Patriots took over at their own 30-yard line with just 9 seconds left in the game. Newton's Hail Mary was caught, but well short of the end zone, ending the game.

The Patriots got the scoring started with a 10-play, 84-yard opening drive, which came after the New England defense forced a punt on the opening Texans possession of the game. Harris ran for 25 yards on five carries, including a 9-yard touchdown run. The big play of that drive came on a screen pass to James White, which went for 34 yards.

The Texans came right back with a touchdown drive of their own, and they needed just 3:16 to go 73 yards. Watson completed a 22-yard pass to Jordan Akins on a third-and-10 from the New England 25-yard line, then threw a 3-yard touchdown strike to Randall Cobb on the next play to tie the game at 7-7.

The two teams exchanged punts before the Patriots regained the lead in the second quarter. Though an offensive pass interference penalty on N'Keal Harry disrupted a promising drive, a 9-yard screen pass to White on third-and-17 set up a 45-yard field goal attempt for Nick Folk, who made the kick to give New England a 10-7 lead. That drive featured a bit of trickery, with a double pass to Jakobi Meyers going for 20 yards.

The Texans took their first lead of the game on the ensuing possession, which was capped off with Watson bowling over safety Devin McCourty at the goal line for a touchdown. Watson has 19 rushing yards and 56 passing yards on that drive.

Houston added to that lead with yet another touchdown drive. This one was completed through the air, with Watson scrambling to his right and hitting Keke Coutee in the end zone.

The Texans took a 21-10 lead into halftime, having led scoring drives of 73 yards, 75 yards, and 80 yards. Watson had 241 passing yards, 30 rushing yards and three total touchdowns at halftime.

The second half began on a sour note, as Burkhead suffered what appeared to have been a very serious knee injury on the opening possession.

The Patriots then cut the Houston lead to four points, though, after each team punted to start the second half. The touchdown drive featured a 30-yard completion from Newton to Byrd on a third-and-10, as well as a 2-yard completion from Newton to White on a third-and-2. It ended with a 42-yard bomb from Newton to Byrd for the touchdown.

The Texans then marched 57 yards in response, but the Patriots' defense forced an incompletion on third-and-3 from the Patriots' 18-yard line. Ka'imi Fairbairn kicked the 36-yard field goal to make it a 24-17 lead for Houston.

Newton led a long, methodical drive in response, highlighted by a 19-yard connection to Byrd, an 8-yard connection to Byrd on a third-and-8 (with an assist to a terribly missed spot by the officiating crew), and a 16-yard connection with Byrd to get the ball deep into Houston territory. Newton, though, didn't see front side pressure from Justin Reid and took a nine-yard sack, and the Patriots had to settle for a 36-yard field goal from Nick Folk. That successful kick once again cut Houston's lead to four points, at 24-20.

The Texans came right back though, thanks to a 14-yard connection from Watson to Will Fuller to convert on a third-and-4. Watson hit Fuller for 20 more yards on the next play, but the drive stalled out at the New England 28-yard line, and Fairbairn kicked a 46-yard field goal to make it a 27-20 lead for Houston.

The Patriots will host the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

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