- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots are comfortably leading the Houston Texans, 21-0, at halftime.
Here are some notes at intermission:
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady started this game on fire. He’s completed 11 of his first 13 passes for 154 yards and three touchdowns. Brady finished the first half with 165 passing yards. Brady has touchdown connections with tight end Aaron Hernandez (two) and receiver Brandon Lloyd (one).
The fast pace by New England’s offense is causing fits for Houston’s defense. New England is snapping the ball at a rapid pace and catching Houston on several occasions not lined up. Brady’s second touchdown pass to Hernandez was set up because Houston didn’t line up a defender outside. Overall, Houston looks out of its game, and New England's pacing is a big reason.
New England defensive tackle Vince Wilfork is quietly dominating. Wilfork is plugging the holes in Houston’s zone running scheme and has four tackles and a sack. Wilfork also has a batted pass.
The Patriots got a big turnover defensively by safety Devin McCourty, who stopped Houston's momentum with an interception near the goal line. McCourty read Houston quarterback Matt Schaub's eyes and made a very athletic play.
Stevan Ridley fumbled on the opening drive but it was recovered by Hernandez. Ridley has had fumble issues in his first two seasons. It's perhaps the biggest weakness for the second-year player, but it didn’t hurt New England this time.