When select members of the Texans agreed their previous meeting with the Patriots was the biggest game in team history, how many eyebrows do you figure went arching in the Patriots locker room?
Even though the Patriots are littered with young players, anybody who's been in New England longer than three seasons has already played in five playoff games, including a Super Bowl. Tom Brady alone has quarterbacked 1.75 seasons worth of playoff football and the Patriots are 17-7 in those games.
On Monday, Bill Belichick acknowledged that the experience could help New England. With, of course, the requisite caveats attached.
"I think (experience) has some (relevance) but I dont think it is overriding by any means," said Belichick. "You can find plenty of examples of teams and players with limited experience that have done very well and plenty of those same examples where it hasnt gone so well.
"But I think like anything else, if youve been through it once you have a little more knowledge and a little more confidence and understanding of whats going to happen than if youve never been through it before," Belichick added. "I think there is some advantage to it but I think the advantage goes to the team that plays well, that executes well, makes good decisions. I think thats more of an advantage than experience or no experience."
Matt Schaub has quarterbacked one playoff game in his nine-year career, Saturday's win over the Bengals. For the Texans, that was indeed their quarterback's first rodeo. If he can't hold up on the road, in the cold at Gillette Stadium less than a month after coming out somnambulant in December, the Texans have no chance.