The Patriots and Texans didn’t have much history together before the 2012 season.
The Patriots’ two wins against them in December 2012 and January 2012 marked just the fourth and fifth times the teams played.
Look back on the details of the teams’ previous meetings:
Patriots 23, Texans 20 (OT), Nov. 23, 2003, at Houston
New England committed three turnovers, failed to convert multiple times in the red zone and missed a kick in overtime, yet still pulled out a 23-20 victory. The Patriots were en route to a Super Bowl victory and the win was part of the team’s NFL-record 21-game win streak. Read the game story.
Patriots 40, Texans 7, Dec. 17, 2006, at Foxborough
The Patriots bounced back after a tough loss in Miami with a resounding 40-7 victory against a bad team that left them one win shy of clinching another AFC East title. Read the game story.
Texans 34, Patriots 27, Jan. 3, 2010, at Houston
Welker suffered a critical knee injury minutes into the season finale at Houston -- an ailment that would keep him out for the playoffs. The Patriots, who had already clinched the division but were unable to earn a playoff bye, blew a 14-point fourth quarter lead to fall 34-27. The win gave Houston (9-7) its first winning season in franchise history. Read the game story.
Patriots 42, Texans 14, Dec. 10, 2012, at Foxborough
Houston entered the game with an NFL-best 11-1 record, but was quickly embarrassed by a Patriots team that overwhelmed it on offense and defense. Tom Brady improved to 13-4 all time on Monday night with four touchdown passes, and sparked New England to a 28-0 lead by the third quarter. The Patriots prevented Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson from becoming a factor and held Defensive Player of the Year candidate J.J. Watt without a sack or a tackle for a loss. The win kept the Patriots in control of the second playoff seed, and moved them one game back of Houston for the top seed in the AFC. Read the game story.
Patriots 41, Texans 28, Jan. 13, 2013 (AFC divisional playoff), at Foxborough
The Patriots ran away from the Texans for the second time in two months to clinch a berth in the AFC Championship game. Shane Vereen shined with three touchdowns for the Patriots, but only after two big injuries befell the offense. Danny Woodhead left after one drive with a hand injury, and Ron Gronkowski reinjured his left forearm and left the game in the first quarter. The Patriots opened up a 25-point lead in the fourth quarter as Tom Brady won his NFL-record 17th career playoff game. Read the game story.