The statement was that it is now the best team in the league, and according to defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, who spoke to WEEI's Mike Petraglia after the victory, the team has the confidence to back its message up.
“Confidence. More we play with confidence, the better we play,” Wilfork said. “We don’t play with confidence, we struggle. Make a bad play, it’s not the end of the world. Guys played with a lot of confidence, it showed.”
The Patriots (10-3) are winners of seven straight games entering this Sunday's contest with the visiting San Francisco 49ers, and are coming off maybe its best week of practice this season.
“You do things the right way in practice, you practice well, you prepare well and then when the game comes, you execute and good things are going to happen,” Wilfork said of the week of practice leading up to the Houston game. “That’s a good sign for this team, that’s definitely a good sign. Sometimes you need to see that. You need to see practice transferring into games and tonight was one of those nights where what we did on the practice field, we brought it out in the game and we were very successful doing it.”
Because of their recent success, the Patriots now have a chance to earn the AFC's No. 1 playoff spot, which comes with home-field advantage. This season, New England is 5-1 at Gillette Stadium and one must believe the Patriots would feel extremely confident in a home playoff game.
New England will end its season on Dec. 30 against the visiting Miami Dolphins.