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and they'll get on an aircraft and head back to boston. >> cris: i don't think that there were major fears about the patriots with the lead that they but patriot fans after back-to-back losses. just so atypical how they were losing those games. 14 point leads. to see the mistakes they were making. another one tonight in peshl teams as well. the old special teams coach himself bill belichick will go back to work on that. >> al: 13 times in the last 15 years they clinch a spot on that, but not the division crown yet. but if the giants beat miami tomorrow, not that they have a chance. but a situation vis-a-vis the jets so they'd clinch with a new york win or obviously with a win in any of the last three games
and brady will kneel down here. that will take us all the way to the wire. so brady 22 of 30 for 225 and a pair of touchdowns. the guys who worked together for five years with a brief hug. and the new england patriots will go to 11-2 and would regain that number one seed at least for the moment in the american football conference. game officially over in four seconds. 27-6 the final. volkswagen post game report
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welcome to volkswagen passat post
game report. >> and welcome back to houston where the final score tonight patriots 27, texans 6. and where, after toughing it out for most of the night, bob landed on the injury list. his voice listed day to day. liam mchugh to take you the rest of the way. the patriots clinch their seventh straight playoff berth with a victory over the texans. this week's game balls go to rob gronkowski.
and jabaal sheard, two sacks and to forced fumble. both spoke with michele tafoya. >> you were injured two weeks ago, that knee. so this is your first action back. a touchdown, a big 45-yard catch early in the game. what were you expecting of yourself tonight? >> i was expecting whatever the coaches called. that type of game plan like that. i knew i wasn't going to go all game. we did a great job execute ing as offense. the coach is making great plays out there. and the offense is coming together. but i give credit to our defense. our defense held them, what, six points was it? unbelievable job they did. holding those good receivers they got and just containing the quarterback, too. overall a great team win. >> how is the knee feeling after tonight? >> what's that? >> how is the knee feeling after tonight? >> it's feeling good. i rehabbed superhard to get myself out here and be with my teammates. when you're not with them, you miss them out on the field. and great to be back with them. i love these guys.
>> ending a two-game win streak, what was that team's mind-set? >> just come out here and play football. play some physical football. come out here mentally and physically prepared. we stalk uck together as a unit and get to get a win on the w side. >> let's turn to jabaal sheard. this team had six sacks tonight. why were you able to be so successful in your pass rush? >> everybody just did a good job of staying in their lanes, executing, the secondary played great tonight and gave us time to get there. >> again, stopping the losing streak, that was a big thing for this team, wasn't it? >> no question, no question. it feels good to win again and bounce back. and get that nasty taste out of your mouth. >> the one taste that might still be in your mouth, however, is the one that comes with a lot of players injured, which you had a lot of guys go down tonight. how are you able to fight through that? >> you know, just fight through it. guys got to step up and make
happy to have rob back, happy to getting guys back this week. >> congratulations. >> thank you. >> send it to you, liam. >> let's take a look at the afc playoff picture. a week ago the sky was falling in new england after a second straight loss. but now the patriots are back on top. cincinnati and denver both lost today and are both now relying on backup quarterbacks. as for the wildcard race, three teams at 8-5. pittsburgh on the outside looking in right now. but if the steelers, chiefs and jets were all to win out, it would actually be kansas city and pittsburgh who would own the tiebreakers for the two wild card positions. let's bring in tony dungy. how do you see this playing out now in the afc? >> well, really liam, a couple and i like where pittsburgh and pittsburgh's playing great kansas city playing great defense. but pittsburgh hosting denver next week is going to be a huge game.
all about. they're going to need to score more points going into pittsburgh than they got today. and that other drama is the afc south. this houston team going to indianapolis. it's probably going to be winner take all. and again, both offenses struggling. the colts really need to get andrew luck back. that's what it looks like in indianapolis. >> all right, coach. let's bring things over to the nfc. carolina shut out the falcons. the packers ran all over dallas and are now a game up on the vikings in the north. but tony, with philly and washington stayed tied atop the nfc east and the giants with a potential win tomorrow, how do you see things shaking out in that division? >> that's where all the drama is in the nfc. i think it will come down to the last game of the year, philadelphia going to the giants. the winner of that game will win the division. and you have to like the giants playing at home with eli manning
but the real situation there to me is seattle now in that five spot with their win today. and you have to think, if they can remain there, whoever wins the nk, fc, seattle will be favored and could be setting themselves up for a nice little run. seattle's playing great football. >> coach, thanks so much. turning now to mike florio of pro football talk. the whole afc playoff race would be greatly impacted by andy dalton's injury. what's the latest you hear on how long he may be out? >> what we know is there's a fracture in the thumb. we know he won't play next week at san francisco. coach martin lewis said so after today's loss to pittsburgh. we'll know much more on monday, that's the day that dalton will meet with the specialist and there will be clarity as to how much time he'll be expected to miss. until then, until he's able to return, it will be a.j. mccarron at quarterback for the broncos -- no, for the cincinnati bengals. i got ahead of myself.
quarterback. peyton manning could return to practice after today's loss to the raiders, coach gary kubiak said that manning could come back to practice. he'll know more monday or tuesday. there's been no starter named for next weekend's game at pittsburgh. >> so a big week for both denver and cincinnati. mike, thanks so much. as for the situation here, final score, patriots 27, texans 6. al and cris are back to wrap things up right after this. ? maybe just head back to don't you want to meet my family? yep, totally. it's practically yours, but we still need your signature. the volkswagen sign then drive event. r zero due at signing, p zero down, zero deposit, r and zero first r months payment t on a new jetta
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crawfish shorts i like your style hooked it just a little bit (window breaks, car alarm sounds) don't open that cellar door epic comeback starts right here lucky shot. mmm mmm mmm mm mmm mm mmmmm welcome back to the volkswagen passat post game report. >> oh, he loses the football! dwight freeney knocked it loose. the arizona cardinals come off huge defensively. >> he's looking. he's going deep for aguilar who
touchdown. first nfl touchdown for aguilar. >> highlights from thursday night and today, sunday's game in philadelphia. we've got arizona against philadelphia. cardinals red hot, 11 wins. here comes seattle. division not clinched yet. and philadelphia all of a sudden two wins in a row against two teams from the afc east tied right now with washington. the giants tomorrow night. pretty good scramble going down to the finish line. >> pretty good couple of weeks there for chip kelly to knock off these new england patriots. kind of a crazy game last week, then got he lesean mccoy with all that going on. with what the arizona cardinals have on their schedule in front of them, they'd very much like to go get a win in philadelphia not to worry about green bay and seattle in the last two weeks. >> they've got a tough schedule and seattle's got a relatively easy one down the stretch. a lot to be determined three
>> let's go. >> on to theity of brotherly love. we'll talk to from there, sunday night. cardinals against the eagles. here tonight it's new england. they still have haven't lost three in a row since all the way back in 2002. a win tonight, go 11-2. final score 27-6. cris collinsworth along with michele tafoya, good night from houston, texas. nbc sports thanks you for watching this special
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. >> anchor: pats are back and head into houston in the air and on the ground . going to land on his belly, spin 478 right around and throw him for another ten yards . >> anchor: patriots getting it done! the night team live in the lone star state with pats players down. news tonight. breaking news in worcester. a deadly house fire . >> anchor: two people pulled from the flames didn't make it. the night team is there with the latest. >> anchor: honoring heroes. the governor recognizing t employees who stopped a run away . >> reporter: our warm weekend is over but these unseasonable yet . >> anchor: powering down for a
the wild save now from the night team. hey new england, we needed that. it's a patriots win deep in the heart of texas. brady on fire and look who is back. gronk smash. the pats back on track with a big win in a sunday night show down . >> anchor: much better night the pats saddling texans on . >> anchor: the team shaking off the last couple weeks and return returning to their winning ways it. was a welcome return to the field for number 87. the gronk awakens hauling in a touchdown and deliver a classic . problem. patriots sacking the home team with the texas sized win. joe amorsino starts our coverage with highlights from tonight's big victory and there are a lot . >> anchor: there are plenty of them with rob gronkowski return
patriots at this point. you can believe what the return of gronk does? over. the patriots clinch a playoff spot and, yes, at 11 and 2 they are become on top in the afc bi. here is how it went down in houston with rob grokowski lineup. here we go. gronk back in the lineup after missing last woke's game sport sporting that brace on his right patriots second possession he looked as good as ever getting loose down field, tom brady hits him on the opposite sideline. gronk shaking free on a big 45 yard gain their set up the patriots deep in the red area. and there we were, three plays later, they cash in. brady finds his former, the former texan keyshawn martin for the easy two yards out, boom. patriots up 7-0 but brady paid the price on this one taking a serious hit from jj watt at the end of that play it. was a penalty. wouldn't be a patriots game
we see it again tonight in the second quarter. legarret blount left with a score 10-6 his night was done with a hip injury but even without him the patriots offense kept clicking just before the half. brady hits who else? gronk from a yard out just an un unfair advantage on that one. patriots take a 17-6 lead in the okay locker room. pats kick the field goal but suffered a big loss loss on the next possession. deaf on mccourty leaving with an ankle injury. he would head for x-rays. we're still waiting to get the word on mccarthy. still the pats d forced another punt but martin in his return, puts it on the turf. shades of chris harper in denver and special teams for miscue coming off last week's debacle against the eagles. would this be another come back? would this one bite them too? not if leonard johnson had anything to say about it. texans go for it on fourth and four. johnson there to break it up and turn it over. houston turns it over on downs. the defense keeps hits. here we go later in the third
hit there who had a history of knee problems limping off with the aide of the trainers. they were shorthanded but still kept making plays. fourth quarter shard comes up with a strip sack who was really feeling the pressure. pats take over on the houston 7 yard line and they turn it into points in a hurry. james white doing the honors, nobodying it in and taking it in from two yards out, patriots in the drivers seat up big. it was 27 to 6. the defense wouldn't let up. fourth down and three, hicks teeing off on former patriots backup, texans turn it over again on downs. he would head to the locker room and be checked out for a concussion cushion. injuries andal patriots cruise to an easy win in houston 27 to 6 the final. snapping their two game losing streak and sewing up that play playoff birth. for more on patriots big win and proving to 1 and 2 we head houston with 7's trey daerr. trey?
yeah, certainly a huge win and a quick update on deaf on mccourty mccourty. just watched him walk by me on his own power with teammates for kind of a quick how are you feeling. he just smiled so hopefully all things fine when it comes to mc mccourty's ankle. the story of the game i think kind of touched on it had to be theof rob grokowski and he made his presence felt right away. we check out the video interest tonight. one of the first possessions of game for the pats. gronk getting loose behind that texans defense making the big play then kind of getting up and sort of shaking himself off just to show you that everything is good to go after missing the one game. a game of course they lost against the eagle and then late in the first half rob grokowski kind of on the hybrid fade route the touchdown pretty much ceiling up the game from the pats. they dominated from there on out and really dominated the texans. a lot of people came into this game talking about that houston pass rush. really not too much of an effect in the game. they did get after brady a little bit in the fourth quarter
game was the patriots pass rush all over brian hoyer. he didn't even finish the game i'm very complete win for the new england patriots tonight holding houston texans to point. offensive line a lot better. offensive game plan better as well. brady not holding the ball nearly as long as we've seen in the last two weeks. probably a big point of emphasis we'll hear coming up in the post game comments a little bit later later. for now, joe, let's send it back to you . >> reporter: much more in just a little bit. joining us now two time super bowl champ, we have kevin booth with us tonight. the return of gronk a lot of speculation coming in that this game. 'twas too soon? if it was indeed a bone bruise and there is no swelling and there is no pain we saw he looked fine out there and he made an immediate impact for the patriots tonight . well, definitely. you can see how valuable he offense. i think he really take a lot of the pressure off tom brady and rest of the offense. he opened up run game opportunities for them and also he made those big plays down the field that you see.
touchdown. i didn't see anything that seemed like he was favoring it. yes, he had the brings on there but you make a good point. you put number 87 on the field and everything changes because you got a deal with him whether he is blocking or whether he is out there in the middle of the field and it really opened it up for brady. i mean it, really did . it did. you can see the oh look more like it did earlier in the season and i think it's because he is out there . he is just an absolute beast to deal with now on the other side. houston as a beast that people have to deal with and the watt tonight. he is the guy coming in, he has the broken left hand, he had it all bawled up so he essentially had a fist. he can't grab on to anyone which now becomes an advantage for anyone on the patriots side. what did they do to contain him . uncomfortable. this ehad a lot of guys. they started out taking out legs early on in the game. front of him uble teams. kept him off balance and i think