The Patriots will play the Houston Texans this coming Sunday at Gillette Stadium. Because of the outcome of the previous meeting between the two clubs, there appear to be two camps on this one. Either the game will be a repeat of the first one, though perhaps not quite as decisive for the Patriots, or we will see a repeat of the 2010 season when the Patriots walloped the Jets late in the season, only to then face them again in the divisional round and lose.
There will be no shortage of the latter storyline being brought up this week. Since the end of the Houston/Cincinnati game on Saturday, the ESPN Boston Patriots coverage has mentioned the 2010 Jets scenario no fewer than six times.
Rapid reaction: Patriots vs. Texans – Mike Reiss
All one has to do is revisit the 2010 season and how the Patriots pummeled the Jets 45-3 on Dec. 6 before losing to the Jets at home 28-21 in the divisional round on Jan. 16.
23 players still with Pats from Jets loss – Mike Reiss
One of the natural storylines resulting from a Patriots-Texans rematch is how the Patriots had a similar scenario in the 2010 season.
In 2010, the Patriots crunched the Jets 45-3 on Dec. 6, only to lose to them 28-21 in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Belichick: Wrinkles ahead for both teams – Mike Reiss
Asked if the 2010 season in which the Patriots blew out the Jets in the regular season (45-3), then lost to them in the divisional round of the playoffs (28-21) was applicable to this year, Belichick said it was another example of how an earlier-season meeting between teams means little in the playoffs.
Brady: First Texans game has no bearing – Field Yates
It was just two years ago that the Patriots easily took care of an opponent during a Monday Night Football matchup in December and then later faced them in the playoffs. After thrashing the Jets 45-3, the Patriots later lost to their division foe at home in the divisional round by a score of 28-21.
Stats glance: First look at Pats-Texans – ESPN Stats and Information
The Patriots beat the Texans 42-14 in Week 14 but, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, teams that lost to a team by at least 28 points in the regular season are 11-11 when playing that team in the playoffs. That list of losers includes the Patriots, who beat the Jets 45-3 in a regular season meeting but lost to them a few weeks later in the playoffs.
Teeing up Texans-Patriots, Round 2 – Mike Reiss
The Patriots throttled the Texans on Dec. 10, but that result will have no effect on what unfolds next Sunday. Patriots coach Bill Belichick can simply cite the 2010 season and how the Patriots blew out the Jets at home, 45-3 on Dec. 6, before losing to them 28-21 in the divisional round of the playoffs.
I think you get the idea of how this week is going to go. The ESPN crew is certainly not the only ones touting this storyline, but it seemed most jarring and persistent in their content.
Of course, you can go the complete opposite way as Dan Shaughnessy did yesterday and write about how this is another example of how “lucky” the Patriots are, and this will be another bye week, and the tomato cans have lined up again.
Many don’t seem to grasp that Shaughnessy writes these columns as a setup, hoping for the exact opposite to happen so that he can hammer the team for losing such an “easy” game, or even for not winning by enough.
For a dose of sanity, let’s turn here:
What is it with us and the ability to look at a cloudless sky and automatically assume we are just in the eye of a hurricane?
I swear, 90 percent of New Englanders could hit the lottery and immediately start grousing about the taxes they’ll have to pay.
We’d dumb into inheriting an oceanfront home and — instead of breaking out the umbrella and beach chair — spend the day inside trying to determine the likelihood of tsunami.
So it is with the Patriots getting the Houston Texans in the AFC Divisional Playoffs next weekend.
He goes on to talk about how the 2010 Patriots were a rebuilding team. They were ahead of where many thought they would be, and perhaps not experienced and mature enough to handle that rematch.
Any guesses on who is being referred to here:
Q: CSN reporters? Some of the funniest sports follows on twitter. @tomecurran @RattoCSN & @RoobCSN, all worth your time. – RumfordJohnny @RumfordJohnny
A: Ray Ratto is the funniest sportswriter in America. The prevailing tendency of columnists to get a little older and reach a point where they hate sports and only write for their equally jaded media peers hasn’t visited Ray. For instance, Ray could name most of the players on not only the local teams but upcoming opponents on whom he columnizes. Don’t always get that around here, especially since Bob Ryan semi-retired. Shame. (And I’m aware that wasn’t a question per se. Good jumping off point for a rant, though.)
It’s pretty easy, actually.
You know, with all the “contrarians” in town, someone could carve a pretty good niche for themselves by simply becoming the guy who rebuts the contrarians, instead of agreeing with them.
The NHL lockout will be over this week, and the Bruins could be playing games within two weeks.
Bruins look like contender – Steve Conroy thinks that that Boston should be in good shape.
Bruins eager to get back to work – Joe McDonald agrees that the familiarity of the team should put them in a good position to contend.
So does Bobby V threaten to punch, or be punched in this role?