The Houston Texans could have taken a major step toward wrapping up the top seed in the AFC on Monday night, but a little problem named the New England Patriots got in their way.
"Obviously we knew it was a big game," Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport at a charity event for Subway on Tuesday. "A conference game, against a team that, they have a spot that we want. They're still the No. 1 seed, but this is one step closer to the goal that we have. But at the same time, we know there is still a lot of football to be played and we have to change the page fast because we have a good San Francisco 49ers team coming in here Sunday night."
The Texans haven't fared well against established heavies on national TV, where some of the NFL's best passers have torched Houston. In their two losses this season -- to the Patriots and the Green Bay Packers -- the Texans have been outscored 84-38.
Success is new for the Texans, and they're having some fun with it, as exemplified by the gaudy letterman jackets they wore on the team flight to Foxborough, Mass.
"I don't think we'll get letterman jackets around here," Mayo said. "We're just trying to win games. I think that'll be the mindset around here for a long time."