The Houston Texans have heard all the talk before, but this week, it has a more urgency to it. While the Texans understand that the Patriots are the team to beat in the AFC, there is no doubt that Bill O’Brien and his club have every confidence that they can beat this Patriots team. Just ask former Patriot and current Texan Vince Wilfork.
“At this level, you have to be a tight-knit group in crunch time, in critical situations,” Wilfork said. “We’re in it right now. We’re in a playoff game and you have a shot to give yourself a chance to play for the Big Dance. We’re in that spot. So it will have no bearings on how we’ll go up there and how we’ll feel because of what somebody else said. We’re going to go out and play our tails off.”
Patriots coach Bill Belichick is of course downplaying the favorites status, as is his teams way, and kept a straight face when he said “This will be a big challenge for us this week…”
“This will be a big challenge for us this week to be able to compete with them.” ~Bill Bilichek~
The Houston Texans were not only humiliated at the hands of the New England Patriots, but lost superstar J.J. Watt in the process adding insult to injury. Watt had just returned from an operation to repair a herniated disc in his back and was back on the field after 53 days of rehab.
The Texans (2-1, 1st AFC South) will have to regroup and get back to winning without Watt against their AFC South rival Tennessee Titans (1-2, 2nd AFC South) who are coming off a touchdown loss to the Oakland Raiders. The defense will have to be by committee.
“When you have that kind of ability and that kind of play-making, it’s hard to replace with one guy,” Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel said. “So, we’re going to ask all the guys on defense to pick it up, to put a little bit extra in it and see if we can gain some of those plays that J.J. used to make.
“That’s what we have to do. We’re going to try to ask everybody else to tighten their belts and then go play the best game that they’ve played.”
The Houston Texans will open their 2014 Training Camp on Saturday July 26th and will is presented b XFINITY.
In the meantime, much maligned receiver Andre Johnson is still looking at a way out of Houston and most pundits think that the Patriots, Seahawks or Broncos will be where he ends up with an outside shot in Cleveland where he would have to take considerably less money then his current asking price.