BOSTON (CBS) — After his Patriots dismantled the Texans 42-14 one month ago, you might think head coach Bill Belichick would look upon that Monday night matchup as a positive indication of this Sunday’s upcoming rematch.
That, however, would be a very unsafe assumption.
“I think all the previous games are pretty meaningless. I think it’s a bunch of garbage,” Belichick said in a conference call with the Houston media on Wednesday. “The game comes down to teams, the way we match up this weekend, on Sunday. It doesn’t have anything to do with some game that was played this season, last season or some other time. It doesn’t matter. It’s not this game. The game will have its own elements and it will write its own story. And I don’t think any other game has any bearing on this one.”
Belichick and the Patriots know that firsthand. Two years ago, they beat the Jets in even more lopsided fashion on a Monday night in December, only to lose to those same Jets in the divisional round. They experienced the flip side of that last year though, beating the Broncos by 18 points on the road in December before beating Tim Tebow’s team by 35 points at Gillette in the postseason. In 2009, the Patriots beat the Ravens in September, only to lose to them in January
“We’ve played division games where we’ve played the same team twice in the division or three times already this year,” Belichick said. “Those games don’t mean anything.”
Complacency will assuredly not be a problem at Patriots practice this week, as evidenced by Belichick’s response when asked how important it is for his team to come out firing in Sunday’s rematch.
“You don’t win a war by digging a foxhole and sitting in it,” Belichick told the New England media. “You’ve got to go out there and attack. You’ve got to go out there and make the plays that you need to make to win. It’s a one-game season.”