Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph played in both losses to the Patriots this season, a pair of ugly wipeouts in which New England outscored Houston 83-42. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was almost perfect in those games, throwing for 640 yards and seven touchdowns without an interception.
Patriots 41, Texans 28Check out the best photos from the divisional-round matchup between the Houston Texans and New England Patriots.
Color Mr. Joseph unimpressed.
"Obviously we had the right guys in here to win 13 ballgames to get up to that point," Joseph told Dave Zangaro of ComcastSportsNet Houston of Sunday's playoff loss. "For whatever reason, we didn't advance. I still can't put that over because I think we were a better team. I think we just didn't make the plays at the right time."
"Not at all," he said. "Just four or five plays. You take a few of those plays that they made and go the other way, it's a different ballgame."
Joseph is trained to think this way, to see opportunities instead of the obvious differences between these teams, but results on the field tell a different story. It's not easy to beat NFL competition twice -- this convincingly -- in just over a month. Joseph's optimism might be inspiring inside the Texans' locker room, but it's short on accuracy.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.