Well, that was a close one. The Patriots weren't expected to be in a dogfight with the Texans, who rode a nine-game losing streak into their Week 13 contest, but a 17-7 halftime deficit was met with yet another resurgent second-half effort in a 34-31 victory for the Patriots.
The march to the postseason continues, as the Patriots draw ever nearer to the AFC East crown.
Here's a look at some players who shone in the face of adversity, and others whose stock took a hit on Sunday.
Logan Ryan: Second straight week with an interception for the rookie cornerback. With an injury keeping starting cornerback Alfonzo Dennard out of action against the Texans, the Patriots called on Ryan to play a bit more than usual.
James Develin: Took his first career carry for his first career touchdown from the one-yard line, with a third and fourth effort to bowl over a couple of Texans defenders to get to the end zone. Develin has taken a roundabout path to becoming a starter, but his determination paid off on Sunday, as it has throughout his time with the Patriots.
Julian Edelman: Injuries have sidelined the Patriots two rookie receivers, Aaron Dobson (out today with a foot injury) and Kenbrell Thompkins (left early with a hip injury), but Edelman continues to be a reliable target for Tom Brady. He hauled in nine of the 12 passes thrown his direction, and accumulated 101 yards. It could have been more had he caught a well-thrown deep pass that was lost in flight.
Joe Vellano/Chris Jones: The two rookie defensive tackles were responsible for losing a gap on two separate touchdown runs by Texans running back Ben Tate in the first half. Otherwise were blown out of their gaps yet again on a consistent basis, as the Patriots yielded 121 rushing yards on 28 carries to the Texans.
Stevan Ridley: If there was a "stock way down" section, Ridley would be in it. He was inactive for Sunday's game as a result of his continued fumble issues. He's been mentored by former Patriots running back Kevin Faulk, who had fumble problems of his own early in his career.
Kyle Arrington: Gave up a 66-yard bomb to DeAndre Hopkins, completely losing the ball in flight as well as the receiver. As a result of the injuries in the secondary, Arrington was thrust into a role covering on the outside, where he has struggled.
The author is solely responsible for the content.