Patriots quarterback Tom Brady again showed age is just a number by throwing for three touchdowns and 277 yards to start his 18th season in the NFL, helping New England defeat the Houston Texans 27-20.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski caught seven passes for 123 yards and a score, with wideout Phillip Dorsett and tailback James White each adding a score.
It was a tough comeback for Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson and defensive end J.J. Watt, both of whom returned to the field after missing large chunks of last season with injuries.
Watson finished the game with only 176 passing yards and one touchdown, while star running back Lamar Miller had 98 rushing yards.
The game started out hot for the Patriots in the first quarter, with a Gronkowski touchdown. He managed to move past two defenders for the first score of the game and cross into the end zone.
Not to be outdone by the offense, the Patriots' defense halted Watson and the rest of the Texans early. Watson botched a handoff to Miller, fumbling the ball. Dont'a Hightower pounced on it, but the ensuing drive did not result in points.
Even though it took a while, the Texans' defense started rolling, with former Cardinals safety Tyrann Matheui recording his first interception as a Texan at the end of the first quarter. A deflected ball landed perfectly in his arms, which eventually set the Texans up for a field goal.
A Brady, 41, pass off to White in the second quarter gave the Patriots another touchdown and the very end of the first half saw a Dorsett touchdown, giving the Patriots a 21-6 lead going into the half.
The Texans were finally able to secure their first touchdown at the end of the third quarter off a one-yard touchdown run by running back Alfred Blue.
The Patriots were able to tally a couple of field goals, but a botched Patriots punt set the Texans up perfectly at the Patriots' 16-yard-line. Watson eventually threw a short slant to Bruce Ellington, moving the score to 27-20 with two minutes left.
However, the Texans' late push was not enough, and the Patriots came away with the win.
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