Texans hand the Patriots a field goal but still lead 22-12

New England Patriots v Houston Texans
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The Texans are pulling out all the stops against the Patriots, and for the most part, it’s working.

They have converted all three fourth-down attempts, and after Lonnie Johnson picked off Mac Jones to open the second half, Davis Mills hit Chris Conley for a 37-yard touchdown strike off a flea flicker.

However, the Texans got too cute for their own good on fourth-and-two at their own 36 early in the third quarter.

Houston punter Cameron Johnston initally lined up in punt formation before going closer to center. He then backed up into punt formation quickly, hoping to catch the Patriots without a returner. Johnston, though, punted the ball into the back of a teammate’s helmet. It was a punt for zero yards.

The Patriots offense gained only 3 yards on three plays, forcing New England to settle for a 52-yard Nick Folk field goal.

Houston leads 22-12 on the strength of three touchdown passes by Mills.