Roby's Return Helps Spark Texans Victory Over Patriots

Texans stun Brady and Patriots, knocking them out of AFC's top spot

Shaun Bijani
December 02, 2019 - 1:08 am
Bradley Roby returns an interception in the first quarter against the Patriots

HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610) -- For the first time in 10 seasons the Texans (8-4) were finally able to beat the Patriots (10-2). Sunday night's 28-22 victory in front of a record-setting crowd of 72,025 at NRG Stadium marked just the second time in franchise history they've beaten Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

Yet the win meant so much more than that to Texans cornerback Bradley Roby in particular. 

"This game was special to me because my grandfather just passed away. I went to the funeral yesterday (Saturday), and I promised him, and I promised myself that I would make some plays. he was blind, so he never saw me play. Maybe he could see me now," Roby said. "That's what I wanted to do, I wanted to honor him. Rest in peace granddad."

Roby certainly made his granddad happy Sunday night. 

Not only did Roby battle back from a severe hamstring injury he suffered in a week six victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, but Roby's play on the field Sunday night changed the complexion of the game for good. 

RelatedTexans Beat Patriots For 1st Time Since 2010

Following an opening drive by the Patriots that ended in Kai Forbath giving the Patriots the lead on a 23-yard field goal, Bradley Roby intercepted a pass from Tom Brady intended for N'Keal Harry, undercutting the route on the Patriots' second offensive possession and setting up a short field for the Texans offense to go to work. 

Deshaun Watson and the Texans made Roby's pick count, scoring three plays later as Watson found Duke Johnson in the flats for a 14-yard touchdown and the go ahead score.

Roby and the Texans defense held the Patriots scoreless for six straight possessions, including forcing four punts and a turnover on downs. 

Roby also logged a sack in a game for the first time since December of the 2017 season when he was with the Denver Broncos when he set Brady down on a 3rd and 6 in the third quarter to stifle another Patriots drive. 

The victory was ultimately about much more than just beating the Patriots for the first time since 2010. It was about making a statement this year, that the Texans may have finally arrived. 

"We think we can play with the best of them," Roby said. "We had a couple of games earlier in the season that we felt like we should have won, but we didn't. Now, it's just about keep stacking the days, taking it play by play and just keep playing to our potential."

Longtime Texans cornerback Jonathan Joseph had himself a game as well. 

Joseph set an NFL record Sunday night with the most career games with multiple passes defensed in league history. With Joseph's two swats Sunday night, that gave him 50 games with at least two passes defensed. 

With Sunday's primetime victory, it also marked the first time in Joseph's career he's been apart of a win against New England. 

Prior to joining the Texans in 2011, Jospeh spent five seasons in Cincinnati, going 0-3 against the Patriots. Thus, including the 0-8 mark before Sunday night, Joseph was 0-11 against the Belichick and Brady led Patriots. 

"It means a lot you know, not personally but more so where we're trying to head to this season," Joseph said. "What it means for this organization at this point in time, every year for the last four or five years we've been battling them coming up short. And you know, still at the end of the day it's not a Super Bowl or anything but a stepping stone for us." 

The Texans improved to 8-4 on the season with the victory Sunday night, effectively knocking the Patriots out of the AFC's top spot as well. The Patriots and Ravens are both 10-2 following the conclusion of week 13, but Baltimore holds the tiebreaker and now the top spot within the conference over New England thanks to their 37-20 victory over the Patriots in early November.

Meanwhile, the Texans occupy the third seed in the AFC, holding the tiebreaker head-to-head over the Kansas City Chiefs. 

In maybe their most pivotal season, the Texans have finally beaten the Patriots. Albeit, a regular season game, and there is plenty of season left, including two big time games against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday night's game was one in which the Texans had to have. It was a game that already felt like it was going to set the tone for the remainder of the regular season.

It doesn't take the stink out of the disastrous 41-7 loss to the Ravens in week 11, but for the game which was the next barometer to measure themselves against the best of the best, the Texans passed the smell test Sunday night. 

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