Coming into Week 14′s matchup against the New England Patriots, the Houston Texans was viewing the game against arguably one of the best teams in the NFL as the most important game in franchise history. The Texans believed the outcome of the matchup against Tom Brady and company at Gillette Stadium would gauge the success of the team and potentially how far Houston could go in the postseason.
Unfortunately, the Patriots torched the Texans, 42-14, convincing many that Houston may still be a few steps away from being a legitimate Super Bowl title contender.
Despite the disappointing effort during the regular season in New England, the Texans had an opportunity to avenge the loss by facing the Patriots at Gillette Stadium once again in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs. Houston were expected to come into this game with a different intensity and a must-win mentality, but it proved to be more of the same for the Patriots with New England destroying Houston for a second consecutive time, 41-28.
Even though New England was able to beat Houston in consecutive meetings this season, one of the best defensive players on the Texans still believes that his team is better than Bill Belichick’s squad. Cornerback Johnathan Joseph expressed his opinion about the Patriots via Dan Zangaro of CSNHouston.com:
“Obviously we had the right guys in here to win 13 ballgames to get up to that point,” Johnathan Joseph said on Monday, the day the Texans cleaned out their lockers. “For whatever reason, we didn’t advance. I still can’t put that over because I think we were a better team. I think we just didn’t make the plays at the right time.”
With two losses in consecutive meetings in similar fashions, it’s hard to side with Joseph’s statement about the Texans being a better team than the Patriots at this point in time.
Obviously, the Texans still aren’t playing at the level of a legitimate Super Bowl title contender at this time with the team sent back to Houston empty handed. Houston is without a doubt a team on the rise in the NFL, but still have yet to prove they can compete with the best of the best in the AFC in the postseason.