Andre Johnson is looking forward to Sunday's matchup against Aqib Talib, whom he considers one of the best corners in the NFL.
"I think he brings a little bit of both to the game, he can play physical, he mixes it up pretty well," Johnson said. "He's a big cornerback. I went against him twice last year. It was a good challenge."
Johnson said after one of their games last season, the two acknowledged their mutual respect for one another.
"You like going against guys like that," Johnson said. "You get to see what his game is and it's a challenge. You like to go against the best."
Talib excels at interceptions and ranks fifth in the NFL since 2009 with 19 picks in 57 games. His interception-to-touch ratio, which measures the number of times a defender picks off a ball when he makes contact, is the third best in the NFL over the last five seasons. According to that ratio, Talib has had an interception 32.2 percent of the time he touched the football, behind only Asante Samuel (41.7 percent) and Charles Woodson (36.4 percent).
Johnson is not deterred.
"Like I said, it'll be a challenge, but, at the same time, you see teams go out and make plays on them if you go out and do what you're supposed to do," Johnson said. "That's just the big thing, if we go out and do what we're supposed to do, then we should be able to hit our plays."
Johnson needs just eight receptions to reach 900 in his career. If he does so against New England, he would be the second-fastest player to reach the milestone, doing so in 150 games.