‘‘They’re very aware of the football and trying to strip it,’’ Schaub said, ‘‘whether it be the runners or receivers with the ball or the quarterback in the pocket.’’
The Texans do that, too, just another of the similarities between two of the NFL’s best teams.
‘‘They never get too high, never get too low,’’ Wilfork said. ‘‘They stay poised. That’s a lot of (what coach Bill Belichick) tries to teach us around here, just to stay poised when things are not going well; things are going well, just keep an even keel.’’
Even when the game could help determine home-field advantage in the playoffs.
‘‘Every game is big here coming down the stretch,’’ Kubiak said. ‘‘We’re in position, just like the Patriots are, to kind of control our own destiny.’’
AP sports writer Kristie Rieken in Houston contributed to this story
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