Rookie Jacoby Brissett, making his first NFL start, got plenty of help from the visiting Texans in the New England Patriots' 27-0 rout of Houston.
Brissett, playing for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo, who was playing for the suspended Tom Brady, ran a bootleg 27 yards for a touchdown and managed the game well in his debut, as the Patriots improved to 3-0 during Brady's four-game Deflategate absence.
The Texans (2-1) fumbled away two kick-offs, leading to two New England touchdowns, and were also guilty of an interception.
Brissett, six of nine in his debut on Sunday, was 11 of 19 for 103 yards passing and ran for 48 yards on eight carries on Thursday.
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels designed an offence that included running plays for wide receiver Julian Edelman and tight end Martellus Bennett and even option plays for Brissett, a third-round pick this year.
The touchdown run was the second-longest by a Patriots quarterback since 1976.
In improving to 6-1 against the Texans, the Patriots recorded the 226th regular season victory of coach Bill Belichick's career, tying him with Curly Lambeau for fourth place all-time.
It was New England's first shut-out since December 30, 2012, and it was the first time the Texans were blanked since December 7, 2003.