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New England opens 18-point lead

Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v New England Patriots Getty Images

The rout is finally on.  We think.

After the Texans cut the margin from 14 point to four with a touchdown and a field goal in the final 75 seconds of the first half, the Pats have responded with a pair of seven-pointers, opening a game-high 18-point lead.

The teams exchanged punts after the Pats scored on the first drive of the third quarter, and then Rob Ninkovich intercepted Texans quarterback Matt Schaub as Houston was moving into New England territory.  Six plays later (with extra point), the score was 31-13, thanks to a quick five-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Brandon Lloyd.

If the Texans are going to advance to their first-ever AFC title game, it’s time to wake up.

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