"I think when you play a team twice during the season, the games are totally different," Belichick said Sunday, via the Boston Herald. "They never go the same way. We'll be able to certainly look at some of the matchups individually, guys that faced each (other) in the game. As far as plays and calls and things like that matching up, I'm sure they'll have some new wrinkles. I'm sure we'll have some, too."
This scenario with the Texans conjures memories of what happened against the New York Jets two seasons ago. After shredding Gang Green 45-3 on "Monday Night Football" in Week 13, New England fell to the Jets 28-21 in the divisional playoffs, Belichick's only loss with the Patriots after a bye.
"I think there's certainly a lesson there about the game that we play now doesn't have much to do with the game we played before," Belichick said. "It's another example of that. We've talked about that many, many times here, before and after the 2010 season. I don't think it's anything that wasn't mentioned until that situation occurred, but it's an example we can point out."
That defeat to the Jets cut deep and seemed to awaken something new in the Patriots last season, but New England isn't a team easily caught off guard. The Patriots rarely are the same club week to week, with every game serving as its own individual season. Other teams can claim they do things the same way, but not with the consistency of the Patriots.
The Texans, meanwhile -- with plenty of issues down the stretch -- hope to prove their prime-time fiasco against Belichick and friends was an aberration. It's a challenge to hold tremendous faith in what Houston brings to the table right now, but we don't expect a carbon copy of last month's disaster.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.