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Patriots roll in second half to knock Houston out of the playoffs

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Everybody’s pick to win the Super Bowl had trouble only for a half against the Houston Texans Saturday night.

The New England Patriots, ahead by only four points at halftime, outscored the Texans 17-3 going down the stretch to pull away. New England now plays the winner of the Kansas City-Pittsburgh game next week in the AFC Title game.

Quarterback Tom Brady threw two interceptions — equaling his season total — but also had 287 yards and two scores. Receiver Julian Edelman caught eight passes for 137 yards, and Chris Hogan caught four for 95 yards. Deion Lewis scored three times for New England. The Pats advanced to their sixth straight AFC title game.

“We’re going to have to play better, coach better than we did tonight,” Pats coach Bill Belichick said, “or there won’t be much left in our season.”

Quarterback Brock Osweiler threw three interceptions and was sacked three times.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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