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On the Texans' potential in a Pats rematch

12/13/2012

Grantland’s Bill Barnwell beat me to the punch on two good Texans items this week.

We hit the first in this post on Matt Schaub’s primetime failures.

We hit the second here.

For the Texans faithful who utterly lost hope that their team can get past the Patriots in the playoffs based on Monday night’s blowout at Gillette Stadium, Barnwell offers several examples of a late regular-season blowout to be followed by a playoff reversal.

Most significantly, he looks at the Patriots and Jets in 2010. The Patriots beat the Jets, 45-3, at home in Week 13. New England then lost, 28-21, to New York at Gillette in the divisional playoffs.

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston covered that team and this one, and I asked him about what he remembers about that dramatic reversal:

"The Patriots had one of their most convincing wins of the season -- over the Jets on Monday Night Football -- and looked like a juggernaut at the time. When they faced the Jets again in the playoffs, at home, that 45-3 game was rehashed all week as to why the Jets had little chance to come back to Gillette Stadium and win.

"That looked to be the case early in the playoff game but all it took was one interception -- a 'lazy' Tom Brady pick (owner Robert Kraft's words) on a screen pass to BenJarvus Green-Ellis and the whole complexion of the game changed.

"So if you're looking for a positive slant from a Texans perspective, you could ask the question 'Would Monday's game have been different if that early Stevan Ridley fumble wasn't recovered by the Patriots?' Those turnovers are often game changers."