I'll never forget the first time the Texans hosted the Patriots. Tony Banks started for an injured David Carr and nearly led Houston to an overtime victory in 2003. It was notable because the Texans beat Carolina that year, also at home, and did well against the two teams that would later square off in the Super Bowl in their building.
Andre Johnson was a rookie and Mike Vrabel had a pick. Tom Brady was a third year starter and was intercepted twice. Adam Vinatieri actually missed a game winner in overtime but later got another shot as the Texans couldn't get in range for Kris Brown.
I'll also never forget the first time the Texans beat the Patriots. Houston was trying to lock up its first winning season and get help to make the playoffs in the '09 capper. It didn't look good, down two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
After the Texans cut the lead to seven, Mario Williams came up with a big sack on third down and Jacoby Jones returned a punt to the Patriots' 34. Moments later Arian Foster, making his first ever start, was in the end zone with the equalizer.
Another Mario hit forced a shaky pass that Bernard Pollard picked off, setting the table for another Foster TD. It was a fun finish.
And I'll never forget the last time the Texans beat the Patriots. It had been a while. It was a Sunday nighter last season. Houston had trouble running the ball. But Deshaun Watson shredded the New England pass defense for 3TDs and a 140 quarterback rating.
Before you get all misty-eyed about who is not here from last year's team, players who caught 12 of those 18 completions and all three TDs are still here. The Texans have plenty of firepower to get the job done on offense.
Now comes the not so easy part of stopping a Patriot ground game that's in the top three in the league. Brady is long gone and Cam Newton only has three passing TDs….BUT he's run for nine scores, good for third in the NFL (yikes!).
Whatever the situation, it's the Patriots and it's always difficult and filled with drama. The action gets started Sunday at noon (Sports Radio 610, 1003 FM, KHOU).
In 2009, the Houston Texans secured a big win over the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium.