Quick-hit thoughts after the third quarter

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Entering the final quarter of play, the Patriots lead the Texans 28-7. Passing along quick-hit notes and observations from the third quarter.

1. Talib (hip) yet to return. Veteran cornerback Aqib Talib was absent at the start of the second half as he continues to deal with a hip injury, and the team has announced that he is questionable to return. He did join his teammates on the sideline in the third quarter, and was spotted jogging around, although he has not yet been back on the field. Should the Patriots' lead persist, it's possible Talib won't return to prevent him from tweaking the issue.

2. Stallworth scores in debut. Veteran wideout Donte' Stallworth, re-signed this week after being released at the end of training camp, hauled in a 63-yard touchdown score on his 20th snap of the evening, pushing the Patriots' lead to 28-0. It was a welcome back moment for the 32-year old, who flashed impressive speed in training camp.

3. Foster puts Houston on the board. The Texans offense finally got it going, at least a little bit, as running back Arian Foster plunged in for a one-yard score. The drive was aided by a 30-yard completion to tight end James Casey, who beat linebacker Brandon Spikes in coverage. The touchdown was Foster's 14th rushing score of the season.

4. Watt contained. Through three quarters of play, J.J. Watt has been held without a sack or pass defensed. That's a win for the Patriots.

5. Penalty box. The following Patriots were flagged for penalties in the third quarter: linebacker Brandon Spikes (illegal use of hands to the face; penalty was declined), cornerback Kyle Arrington (pass interference), team defense (12 men on the field).