Patriots coach Bill Belichick indicated Sunday afternoon that the team was “going full-speed ahead here on Houston,” as the Texans’ win over the Bengals in the AFC wild card contest Saturday allowed the Patriots to focus on the fact that they’ll meet Houston Sunday at 4:30 p.m. in a divisional playoff contest at Gillette Stadium.
“It gives us a little bit of a jump on the situation, so we can spend today and really every day now going forward totally focusing our attention on them,” Belichick said on a conference call. “Obviously, they had a terrific year and a big win [Saturday] against Cincinnati. We’re pretty familiar with them because we played them a month ago, but we still have to go through the whole process again.”
The Patriots defeated the Texans 42-14 on Dec. 10 in Foxboro, but Belichick said he’s not sure how much of what happened in that game will impact what goes on when the two teams meet for a second time.
“As we all know, when you play a team twice during the season, the games are totally different. They never go the same way,” Belichick said. “We’ll be able to certainly look at some of the matchups, individually of guys that faced each other in the game. But as far as plays and calls and things like that matching up, I’m sure they’ll have some new wrinkles -- and I’m sure we’ll have some too. It will be totally different.”
Some have also hinted there could be some similarities between this year and what happened in 2010 -- that season, the Patriots crushed the Jets in the regular season, taking a 45-3 win over New York. But a month later, the Jets came into Gillette Stadium and shocked the Patriots in a divisional playoff contest.
“I think there is probably a lesson there that the game we play now doesn’t have much to do with the game we played before -- it’s another example of that,” Belichick said. “We’ve talked about that many, many times here, before and after the 2010 season.”
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