By Paul Gallant, SportsRadio 610By Paul Gallant

HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – The Texans came back to earth Sunday after a 30 – 21 loss to the Bills in Buffalo. The defeat dropped Houston to 6-6, pushing them from 6th place in the AFC (which would have been good for the AFC’s final Wild Card slot) to 9th. It also snapped the Texans’ four game winning streak.

“We didn’t get it done,” said middle linebacker Brian Cushing. “Turn the page. We’ve got to get going. And we’ve got to get going quick and get over this today.”

“We had a long plane ride back to where guys can get the film, look at the film, and move on from it,” said cornerback Johnathan Joseph. “But the mindset is on to the New England Patriots now.”

The loss was certainly disappointing, especially given the chances the Texans had to win the game. But the four game winning streak seems to have sparked a new level of confidence for the team.

“This team’s mindset is right where it should be,” said wide receiver Nate Washington. “It’s enthusiasm about getting back to where we were and how we were playing. So it’s a good feeling right now knowing the mental state of where we’re heading into this week.”

While the team’s Wild Card chances aren’t looking to good, Houston still has a chance to win the AFC South. The Colts saw to that last night after the Steelers shredded them 45 – 10. Indianapolis is now 6-6, with a game in Jacksonville against the Jaguars next Sunday before hosting the Texans in two weeks.

“We still have an opportunity in front of us,” continued Washington. “There’s a lot of football to play. But it’s our job to be focused. Our job to be aware of our opportunity in front of us. And we can’t let this opportunity slip through our hands.”

“We kind of control our own destiny right now,” said Brian Cushing. “Just got to worry about the next game. And obviously the most important thing is to get the job done and win.”

With a Sunday night game against the 10 – 2 Patriots on the horizon, that opportunity isn’t about to get any easier.

“The Patriots are a well respected team in this league,” said Nate Washington. “As they should be obviously. But we have an opportunity in front of us. And what better opponent to have it against. These guys have been a top the league for the past years. Coach Belichick is one of the best coaches in the league to get his team prepared.”

Still, Johnathan Joseph isn’t looking at the game any differently than he typically would.

“Obviously they’re the Patriots,” said Joseph. “But at the same time, every football game should have the same meaning for you. You never want to go out there . . . thinking you’re going to lose. You should want to win every game. I think more importantly it’s a big game for us because we’re fighting for something at the end of the year.”

When you look at the Patriots, it all starts with quarterback Tom Brady. The seemingly ageless 38 year old leads the NFL with 3,912 passing yards and 31 touchdown passes.

“It’s obviously a very good quarterback,” said Brian Cushing. “He’s going to obviously give us some issues and some different matchups and know what he’s looking for. So we just have to go into the gameplan expecting certain things that he’s going to do. But as we all know . . . he does some different things that no one’s expecting. And that’s what makes him one of the best if not the best ever.”

“Tom Brady’s one of the best players to play the game,” said cornerback Kevin Johnson. “So we’ve got to be on our game.”

“The ultimate competitor,” said Johnathan Joseph. “One of the best to ever do it. He’s always prepared and always ready. And you know it’s a full 60 minutes . . . playing against a guy like that. Just look at the game from last night with those guys.”

Paul Gallant co-hosts the “B-Straw and Pauly G” show – Tuesdays 9-11 PM, Wednesdays 8-11 PM, and Fridays 8-11 PM – on SportsRadio 610. He also hosts SportsZone Unfiltered – Fridays at 10 PM – on The Kube: Channel 57. Get in touch with Paul via email or at his facebook page: Paul Gallant: SportsRadio610.

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