The New England Patriots defeated the Houston Texans 34-31 Sunday afternoon.

New England started slow, but fought back in the second half. The Patriots had 453 yards of total offense and 27 first downs on the afternoon. The past four games, the Patriots have scored 143 points. Since 2001, the Pats are 46-6 in the month of December.

Here is my player of the game. –

Julian Edelman:¬†With the exception of Tom Brady, it’s hard to imagine what the Pats offense would look like without Edelman this season. Edelman, who leads the Patriots in receptions, has been consistent all year and that showed again Sunday.

The 27-year-old had a big game against the Texans, with 9 catches for 101 yards. While the numbers aren’t staggering, the consistency of his play was a big boost for the offense.

Edelman has been Brady’s security blanket this season, helping the transition away from former players Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez along with numerous injuries on the offense throughout the year. A free agent after this season, Edelman has earned a payday. Games like this Sunday against the Texans show his value.

Edelman, now with 70 receptions on the year, has reached the maximum reception-incentive in his contract worth $250,000. Icing on the cake for No. 11.

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