Don’t think for a moment the Patriots didn’t notice the letter jackets.
Because what they gave the Texans most last night was a lesson in the difference between good and great.
“They just taught us how to play championship football,” Texans linebacker Bradie James said, via Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle.
The 42-14 whipping was thorough, and decided early enough that those who fell asleep at halftime didn’t miss anything. But it does leave the Texans with a lot of questions.
“How you respond to defeat, or how you respond to not playing well, says a lot about your team,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said.
And that need to hit reset was clear from their statements after the game. Just as their fellow perceived front-runners the Falcons did after an embarrassing loss to the Panthers Sunday, the Texans tried to immediately look forward.
They play the Colts twice in the final three weeks, making it far from automatic that they’ll be cruising to a division title.
“Gotta refocus on the Colts,” quarterback Matt Schaub said. “We didn’t play well across the board. Learn from this one, move on. In this business you have to have short-term memory.”
They’d like to forget, and quickly.