Preparation key for Pats to beat the Ravens
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (NBC) -- It’s the biggest game of the season for the New England Patriots.
They will face off against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in the AFC Championship game. The winner is off to the Super Bowl, the loser back to the drawing board.
That’s why the Patriots say preparation is the key and execution is the goal for the game against a tough, smart, good football team.
"The big thing about the Ravens is that they play good when they gotta play good. When they gotta make plays, they make plays. They won a lot of close games this year. And they've been in a lot of close games, and they won a lot of close games, and I think that's what it's all about. All the stats and all, I mean, you can do whatever you want with them, when it comes down to being able to make a play when you need to make them, whether that's score or stop the other team from scoring, or make a kick, or block a kick, or return a kick, or whatever it is. It's doing whatever you need to do to win. And they do a lot of that. So that's why they're a good football team,” said Bill Belichick, Patriots head coach.
"If they're covering us deep, throw it short. If they're covering us short, throw it deep. If they're playing the pass, we run it. If they're playing the run, we throw it. I think that's part of the chess game. So that's how we spend all morning here trying to figure out what to do for this game. You know you play against a team like this, that's able to adjust because of their personnel, and because they do a lot of things schematically, there's a lot of 'what-ifs' in preparation throughout the course of a week. So, that's what we're really trying to hone in on this week,” said Tom Brady, Patriots quarterback.
"Whatever they choose to, he's really a playmaker for them so they give him an opportunity to make those plays. When you see when he makes a play their whole sideline gets really amped up. So I think it's gotta be... you always have to know where 52's at. He's always right in the middle of the defense but whether he's blitzing or covering, or he's free in the middle of the field you always have to take him into account,” said Brady.
"No matter how bad it gets, he seems to block everything out and play football. And it showed again last week against Denver. Big arm, throughout the course of the game he wasn't perfect, but he made the throw and they made the catch for him and it said a lot about that football team. But he's definitely one of the tougher quarterbacks in this league. He (have) a big heart, and he (play) to win,” said Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork.
"We have to be able to prepare well. And execute very, very well at a high level. I don't think we can leave no stone unturned this game. Because if we do, it'll cost us. So we have to understand that. And it starts with a good week of practice. That's what it always starts with and this week we definitely need it. Every week, every meeting, every walk through and every minute we put in this game we have to make sure we try to cover everything that we could,” said Wilfork.