But Sunday's too-close-for-comfort win at Houston was nothing like the emotional jolt New England got from its back-from-the-dead victory over Denver.
The Texans have lost a franchise-record 10 in a row, yet the Patriots had to rally with two field goals in the final 7:16 to win. It was another reminder of how good Tom Brady is, even though his stock of offensive weapons is continuously dwindling.
"I wish we could start fast and put the foot on the gas pedal the whole way," Brady said.
Meanwhile, at least one Texans player implied the Patriots have their ear to the wall.
Houston defensive end Antonio Smith raised the dusty specter of Spygate, questioning how the Patriots knew what the Texans were going to do on defense before the ball was snapped.
Smith told reporters the Texans inserted some new defensive wrinkles in preparation for the game, and it was "miraculous" how the Patriots made all the right offensive adjustments.
"Either teams are spying on us or scouting us," Smith said. "I don't know what it is."
Of course, there's always the possibility that the Texans just aren't that good.