Last month's 42-14 shellacking at the hands of the Patriots was such an ugly defeat for the Houston Texans that the team can hardly stomach looking back upon the game.
Texans running back Arian Foster told the Houston Chronicle after Saturday's wild card win against the Cincinnati Bengals that he'll only glance at the film.
"I don’t know how much I'm going to look at that, man, honestly," Foster said. "[The Patriots] are a good team. We're a good team. I'll glance at it. But I'm not going to sit there and burn a candle and watch it."
The sentiment was similar across the Texans' locker room, where players were asked about the Week 14 loss as coverage of the AFC divisional matchup got a jumpstart.
"New England's intensity was higher than ours," Texans defensive lineman Antonio Smith told the Chronicle. "You feel, like, ashamed to say it. But in that game, you could tell they were putting forth that extra effort. They were making those plays that I'm talking about to win."
But Smith and the Texans want to use those feelings of disgust and abhorrence over their play as motivation for next week's game.
“I’m pregnant with it and I told them that on the sideline," Smith said. "Can’t forget it. You gotta take it with you. You gotta feel it in you. Every bit of despair you felt going off that field, you gotta feel it. That’s the level you gotta go to when you’re playing a team like that. It can’t just be work as usual, it’s gotta be personal.”
Said Texans coach Gary Kubiak: "We understand the challenge that we have. That is what is awesome about this league: it’s the ultimate challenge. We’ve earned our right to go back. We want to go back and play a heck of a lot better than we did.
"We will enjoy this victory (Saturday) and we’ll get back to work. It's a challenge that we all work for. That's why we're here."