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Pats score 24-21 over Texans, beat Texans by seven points

WASHINGTON — The Patriots came away with the win over the Houston Texans with the same spirit and determination that marked the team’s Week 7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

With the victory, New England now has a 10-2 record when trailing by seven or more points.

The Patriots now own the NFL’s longest losing streak of the season.

And it was just one game into the season, and the Patriots were already in position to clinch the AFC East title before the Colts lost to the New York Giants in Week 11.

“I think the attitude we had, and that’s one of the things that we talked about, and I think that’s the biggest thing that we’ve been able to bring out this team,” defensive end Chandler Jones said.

“We really have a great team spirit.

It was just a matter of getting the guys together and working as a team and getting our feet wet.”

The Patriots are now 7-2 in their last nine home games, and have outscored their opponents 24-20.

That’s the best home winning percentage in the NFL.

The Pats’ win in Houston is their second straight road win.

They defeated the New Orleans Saints, 29-14, on Saturday.

The Patriots’ defense was one of two to give up double-digit points.

Defensive end Rob Ninkovich had four tackles, a sack and a pass breakup.

Cornerback Darrelle Revis, who recorded three interceptions and three pass breakups, had one tackle, a pass break up and an interception.

Safety Devin McCourty had a sack, a forced fumble and an assist.

The Texans held New England to a field goal, but a three-and-out was enough for the Texans to tie it at 17.

New England coach Bill Belichick was pleased with the performance.

“We knew we needed to play well,” he said.

“It’s not easy, but we played well and we played together and we got it done.”

New England went on to lose 17-16.

Houston coach Bill O’Brien was not impressed with the Patriots.

He said the Texans had the “biggest day” of the week and that the defense was a major reason why.

“They have the best defense in the league,” O’Bannon said.

The Texans held Houston to 38 points.

“The way the ball came out of the backfield, we knew that the game was on the line.

We didn’t want to get a punt and we didn’t know we were going to be in a tie game, so we just didn’t take our foot off the gas.”

New York State held Houston scoreless for the first time this season in a 34-27 loss at the Georgia Dome on Dec. 17.

The Falcons also beat the Patriots in Atlanta last season, 27-17.

Jones was not as impressed with New England’s performance.

He said the defense “definitely has some things going right for them.

I thought they played well, but I thought we were a little bit too passive and just let our offense do what it did.”

New Orleans had an opportunity to make a statement in Houston with a touchdown drive.

Quarterback Ryan Mallett threw for a career-high 459 yards, including a 467-yard outburst in the third quarter.

New Orleans has won five of six games at home.