But it was a dominant Patriots team that destroyed the Texans in a 42-14 romp that began a sea of change in the pecking order in the conference.
On Sunday, the AFC South champion Texans, coming off a 19-13 wild card win over the Bengals last Saturday, will be looking to avenge the embarrassing December defeat to the AFC East champion and No. 2 seeded Patriots.
In this week's Patriots preview video above, the Globe's Shalise Manza Young gives us her keys to the AFC Divisional playoff showdown and looks into what's different between the Patriots match up with the Texans the second time around.
We also hear from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on being one win away from going home, Bill Belichick on taking the game to the Texans, and Jerod Mayo, Rob Ninkovich, and Steve Gregory chime in on what they expect to see in Sunday's showdown.