I will give them the benefit of the doubt and say they played down to their opponent. And I've also heard that Joseph may have a nagging injury, so I'll cut him some slack on this performance.
But if the Pats played the HOU defense that showed up tonight, this game would not even be close.
KEEP IN MIND THOUGH, every great offense has been stopped before. I know the Pats have a good run game which is something most of the highest scoring offenses in league history lacked, but that still does not make them unstoppable. 1999 Rams had a great running game and passing game in an time before the league even catered things towards the offense like it is now...and those rams scored 11 points in the AFC championship and 23 points in the Super Bowl
In other words, this HOU defense is not as daunting as I originally thought. But good defenses are capable of stopping great offenses and I still consider HOU one of the defenses that can stifle this offense...it's just going to take their very best effort and game plan