Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots: Report Cards, Final Grades for Houston

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Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots: Report Cards, Final Grades for Houston

The season is over for the Houston Texans with a 41-28 loss to the New England Patriots. New England advances to the AFC Championship Game where they will face the Baltimore Ravens.

The game began with a hopeful start with a 94-yard kickoff return by Danieal Manning to the Patriots' Texans three-yard line. But the inability to get into the end zone was another chapter in a story that spanned the last five games of the 2012 campaign. It would take more than field goals to beat New England on their home field.

When it was all over, Tom Brady had passed for 344 yards and three touchdowns. He was aided by a defense that bent but refused to break. It held Arian Foster to under 100 yards in a playoff game for the first time in his career.

By denying the Texans their primary offensive weapon, the burden fell on QB Matt Schaub. The Houston offense is not designed to operate with a pass-first approach, particularly when their best wide receiver is held under 100 yards. Andre Johnson has had some incredible performances over the course of his 10th season, but today was not one of them.

The coaching staff will have many questions to answer after this game, the most pressing of which is how can this team progress to the level of the Patriots. How they respond between now and the start of the 2013 season will be a heated topic of conversation for months to come.

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