FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Look out. That familiar sight is the New England Patriots romping through December, looking like a Super Bowl team.
The Patriots rolled past Houston 42-14 on Monday night, stamping themselves once again as the team to fear in the AFC - and making the Texans look like pretenders.
Tom Brady threw for four touchdowns and 296 yards as New England manhandled the team with the league's best record. The Patriots (10-3), who already own the AFC East title, won their seventh straight and moved one game behind the Texans (11-2) for the conference's top seed.
A matchup of the top two scoring teams in the league was a mismatch from the outset. It took take New England only one possession to start its scoring barrage as the Patriots surpassed their average of 35.8 points per game.
Wes Welker's 31-yard punt return and 25-yard reception - the 107th straight game he's had a catch - led to Aaron Hernandez's 7-yard score. That gave Brady 45 consecutive games with a TD pass, third longest in NFL history.