FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots rolled over Houston, 42-14, on Monday night, stamping themselves once again as the team to fear in the AFC - and making the Texans look like pretenders.
Tom Brady threw for four touchdowns and 296 yards as New England manhandled the team with the league's best record. The Patriots (10-3), who already own the AFC East title, won their seventh straight and moved one game behind the Texans (11-2) for the conference's top seed.
When Brady hit Aaron Hernandez for a 7-yard score 9 minutes, 27 seconds in, that gave the quarterback 45 consecutive games with a TD pass, the third-longest streak in NFL history.
Brady finished 21 of 35. He also notched his 18th game with at least four TD passes, moving him ahead of Johnny Unitas for fourth place all-time.
Houston's Matt Schaub was 19 of 32 for 232 yards with one interception.