A Number of Players for New England Patriots Take Knee During Anthem

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Three quick thoughts from the Patriots 36-33 win over the Texans. A two-point conversion to Cooks made the score 36-33 with just 23 seconds remaining. JJ Watt, Whitney Mercilus, Jadeveon Clowney and Christian Covington all got a piece of Brady at one point or another. When the Patriots start losing divisional games on a consistent basis, it's time to be concerned.

Watson got caught trying to do too much a few drives later and paid for it when Stephon Gilmore intercepted his pass intended for DeAndre Hopkins and returned it 39 yards to the Houston 12. Their defensive coordinator, Mike Vrabel, was a longtime linebacker for New England as well.

One thing was very clear after a half of football: DeShaun Watson, Houston's first round pick this April, has clearly added a dimension to the Texans offense that's never existed. With such a focus on Gronkowski in the red zone, no Texans defenders bothered to jam Hogan at the line and he found himself wide open back across the field for the touchdown to give the Patriots the lead, 14-10. One particularly fun example: in the third quarter, as the pocket collapsed around him, Watson backpedaled several steps to his left to evade a rusher, then threw against his momentum to the right side of the field, finding tight end Ryan Griffin for a 35-yard gain.

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Clowney had two sacks along with his fumble return.

Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft issued a statement Sunday morning responding to President Donald Trump's comments, saying he is "deeply disappointed". The rookie quarterback hit on throws despite taking hits from the Patriots on a consistent basis. They move to 2-1 on the season and will host the Carolina Panthers at 1 p.m. next Sunday.

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