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    Texans: Unheralded players need to shine vs. Patriots

    FOXBOROUGH -- Texans coach Gary Kubiak didn’t sugarcoat things when he was asked about his team’s 42-14 loss to the Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 10.

    “You’re making a huge mistake if you start saying, ‘If we’d had done this or if we’d had done that we would have been fine.’ We weren’t fine, we got our tails kicked,” Kubiak said in a Wednesday morning conference call. “They were very, very explosive.”

    Kubiak also seems to be taking the Patriots’ approach (at least publicly) and downplaying the teams’ first meeting, saying the initial game -- or the result -- doesn’t mean much now. What he’s concerned with is playing a team in a stadium where they’ve put up some impressive numbers against AFC opponents.


    “When you look at what they’ve done to some teams in their building this year, they got us down 28-7 in the third, they had Denver down 31-7 late in the third, they had Indy down, golly, I think it was 49-17 (actually 45-17),” Kubiak said. “They’ve really gotten after some teams, and games can really get away from you there if you miss opportunities or make mistakes.”

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    The Texans had running back Arian Foster gain 140 yards in Saturday’s 19-13 wild-card victory over the Bengals. Quarterback Matt Schaub made his playoff debut a winning one, and J.J. Watt led a defense that kept Cincinnati’s offense out of the end zone. But Kubiak said it’s probably not the stars that will decide Sunday’s divisional matchup.

    “One of the things that stands out to me, in all my years in this league and being a part of some great football games and a lot of playoff games, I think when teams are successful this time of year, plays kind of come from everywhere,” Kubiak said. “You can’t go into a game thinking this guy’s got to carry the load or that guy’s got make every play. I think everybody’s got to step up and be accountable.

    “Usually when a lot of new faces are making plays you continue to move on. I think it has to be spread around. As far as the chances for our success, we’re going to have to have some young guys make some plays.”