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Sport Tom Brady: Patriots' illnesses not to blame for loss to Texans

12:15  02 december  2019
12:15  02 december  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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The Houston Texans stumped Tom Brady and the New England Patriots ' offense in a game that dramatically altered the AFC playoff outlook. HOUSTON – Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans didn’t merely hammer Bill Belichick’s team in primetime on Sunday night. They did it with style.

HOUSTON — Blame it on the bug?

a man wearing a uniform: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) walks off the field after a play during the third quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. © Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) walks off the field after a play during the third quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium.

Flu-like symptoms that struck several New England Patriots players in recent days were apparently so severe that Bill Belichick’s team used two chartered jets to fly to Houston — one for the healthy and one for the stricken — but it still didn’t prevent a sickly performance in the Sunday night setback.

During the course of the week, the Patriots at one point or another listed 10 players on the injury report due to illness. The group included linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who arrived at NRG Stadium wearing a surgical mask and was one of five defensive starters who played after being listed as ill.

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Tight end Ryan Izzo was the only player ruled out due to illness, but the 28-22 loss to the Texans — which cost the Patriots (10-2) to lose their grip on the No. 1 seed for the AFC playoffs — naturally raised questions about effects the bug may have had on preparation and performance.

“I think the guys just battled hard, and you deal with a lot of adversity over the course of the season,” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said. “I don’t think that had any effect on the game. I think us trying to figure out how to do a better job for 60 minutes is what’s most important. I’m proud of the guys for the way they fought through the week.”

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Texans coach and former Patriots assistant Bill O’Brien got his first win in six tries against New England coach Bill Belichick. The Patriots entered needing a win to be the first AFC team to clinch a playoff spot. Instead, they struggled to sustain drives, and Brady often looked upset on a night he was

The Texans beat up Tom Brady on Saturday night, but once again they couldn't beat Tom Brady . There wasn't a Patriot within five yards of Fiedorowicz and Novak's conversion pulled the Texans to with 14-13. New England extended its lead to four points shortly before half with Gostkowski's 19-yard

In other words, the Patriots were not using the bug as any type of excuse.

“It wasn’t because anybody was sick,” said safety Duron Harmon. “At the end of the day, you’ve got to come out and play football.”

Asked how much a factor the illnesses had on the outcome, Belichick grumbled, “I don’t know.”

Maybe not. But they sure looked a bit sick.

Follow Jarrett Bell on Twitter @JarrettBell.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tom Brady: Patriots' illnesses not to blame for loss to Texans

Related slideshow: The 2019 NFL Season (Provided by imagn)

a football player in the middle of a field: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts after being sacked by the Houston Texans in the second half at NRG Stadium on December 1, 2019.

Patriots still don’t have a kicker at practice for Week 14 .
The New England Patriots still have no kicker on their roster. The team released Kai Forbath this week, and did not sign a replacement. That left New England without a kicker at practice on Wednesday in Week 14 ahead of a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. It’s an oddity for a team to go without a kicker in the middle of the regular season. Surely, they’ll add one. But apparently, they’re waiting patiently before signing their guy.Center Ted Karras also wasn’t present for practice. Karras suffered a knee injury during the Patriots’ loss to the Texans in Houston in Week 13.

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