Texans vs. Patriots: New England preps for close contest

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots beat the Texans 42-14 in Week 14, but that doesn't mean they are expecting another blowout on Sunday.

Despite the fact they beat the Texans 42-14 four weeks ago, the New England Patriots are not overlooking Houston as they prepare for the rematch in the NFL playoffs.

New England linebacker Jerod Mayo said the score of the first game doesn't tell the entire story, as the game could have been a lot closer than it was.

"There were plays in the game that kind of bounced our way. We know this a good team coming in, and we have to be prepared and ready to go," Mayo said, according to ESPN Boston.

The Patriots jumped out to a big lead, which forced the Texans to become one-dimensional and helped New England limit Arian Foster to just 46 yards rushing. Foster ran for 140 yards against the Bengals last week and is averaging 170 yards from scrimmage in his playoff career. Foster had some early success in the first meeting with New England, and Mayo said he has the ability to make the entire team better.

Although the Patriots have won nine of their last 10 games, Mayo said New England is currently 0-0 while the Texans have already notched a playoff victory. He said he expects the Texans to come to New England ready to play and to try to make up for regular season loss.

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