The Texans have faced the New England Patriots four times in the last three regular seasons under Bill O'Brien. Heading into their Week 3 rematch at Gillette Stadium, Houston will have a full week to prepare for the defending Super Bowl champions.
"It's a big challenge," O'Brien said Monday. "Obviously, the Patriots played really well yesterday. It's a road environment. We've got to be able to go up there and handle the road environment. Obviously, they don't lose too often at home. (They've) got a great team. But look, we came back and played better the other night on a short week. We've got a resilient bunch of guys here and I'm glad that we have a little bit longer week so our guys can get healed up and ready to go. We'll have a good practice week and go up there and play hard."
In the AFC Divisional game last year, the Texans defense forced three turnovers on New England, including two interceptions on Brady. Houston held the Patriots to just 5-of-14 (36%) on third down and just 98 net yards rushing in the playoff loss.
"Obviously we'll try to do some of the things that we did last year, but obviously they're expecting it," Whitney Mercilus said. "No doubt. And also what you saw from KC (Kansas City) from Week 1. They've gotten better, obviously from the game from yesterday, so, like I said, we'll see what the coaches are cooking up and we'll go from there."
The Patriots return home after a 36-20 win over the New Orleans Saints, where Tom Brady threw for three touchdown passes and 447 yards, the third-most passing yards of his career. The Texans are coming off their 13-9 Thursday night win in Cincinnati. Deshaun Watson made his first career NFL start and scrambled for a highlight-reel worthy 49-yard touchdown on third-and-15.
The (1-1) Texans and (1-1) Patriots kick off at 12 p.m. CT on Sunday on CBS and SportsRadio 610.
The Texans faced the Bengals in Cincinnati on Thursday Night Football.