HOUSTON — We’ve had a lot of fun laughing at the Houston Texans in recent years."Hey - remember that time I wrote a column designed to antagonize an entire city? Good times, good times!"
Remember how this went down three years ago? The Texans were 11-1 and came to Foxborough wearing their letterman jackets for “Monday Night Football.” Houston wideout Andre Johnson said it was going to be the biggest game in franchise history. We openly mocked the Texans for their stupid hype of a regular-season game. The Patriots, in turn, mocked them on the field, running to a 21-0 lead in the first 19 minutes. It was 35-7 in the first minute of the fourth quarter. The final was 42-14. It was embarrassing for the Houston frauds.
Five weeks later, the Texans came back for a playoff game and it was the same drill. I wrote that this matchup represented the first time in league history that a team had back-to-back bye weeks to start the playoffs. Arian Foster was so offended he made the Globe column his Twitter avatar. The Texans insisted they deserved respect. We gave them none. The Patriots routed them again, 41-28.
How were we supposed to take the Texans seriously when they had Matt Schaub at quarterback, Fraidy Cat Gary Kubiak as head coach, and bumbling Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator?
Sure enough, a year later the Texans lost 14 consecutive games and everybody got fired.
With injuries hitting the New England Patriots hard going into the latter part of the season, Shank is singing a markedly different tune and is no longer calling opposing teams 'tomato cans':
Things feel different now as the Patriots prepare to play at NRG Stadium on Sunday night. Going into this meeting, the Patriots are a team on the way down. They have lost two in a row. The Texans, meanwhile, are 6-6, hungry, and serious. Patriot Nation is a little nervous about this one. Me, too. There will be no taunting from this space. The wounded, reeling Patriots are on the road against a legit team and fear losing a third consecutive game for the first time in 13 years.Somehow, this blogger anticipates a) the Patriots winning the coin toss and b) Shank making a stupid tweet or two about it and the game already being over. Same crap, different week!