Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels dug into his bag of tricks Sunday in the first half of New England’s game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium.
First, with the score tied 7-7 in the second quarter, the Patriots ran a reverse in which running back Rex Burkhead flipped the ball to wide receiver Damiere Byrd. The play resulted in an 11-yard pickup and a first down for New England.
Then, four plays later, New England broke out a double-pass, with quarterback Cam Newton first tossing to Burkhead before getting the football back and firing downfield to Jakobi Meyers for a 20-yard gain.
New England’s drive wound up stalling, thanks in large to an offensive pass interference penalty on wide receiver N’Keal Harry.
Nick Folk converted a 45-yard field goal that temporarily put the Patriots on top 10-7, but the Texans scored a touchdown on their ensuing offensive possession to grab a 14-10 lead. Houston took a 21-10 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Patriots have been no strangers to trick plays this season, with McDaniels trying to creatively spark an inconsistent offense. Meyers, a quarterback in high school, threw a touchdown pass to Burkhead last week in New England’s upset win over the Baltimore Ravens at soggy Gillette Stadium.