Tom Brady is looking to lead the Patriots to their second straight Super Bowl, but first they have to get past the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game, which is a rematch of last year's AFC Championship game. Brady and the Patriots had the top-ranked offense in the regular season, averaging 427.9 yards per game, but he also knows that the Ravens defense will present a tough roadblock.
Like I said, I think they have great personnel, they have a lot of play makers at every level in the defense. It's not like you beat this team 50-0, it's always a tight game, there's tight coverage, there's tight throws. There's tough reads because schematically they do quite a few things. So it's never easy, there won't be an easy throw this weekend. They really challenge you and that's why they're in this game, that's why we'll see if our guys can step up to that challenge. They're not going to hand you the ball, hand you the points or hand you any easy scores. They're great in the red zone, they're great on third down. They really make you earn it. That's what we have to have as a mindset and that's what we need to be able to do.
During Brady's press conference on Wednesday, the Patriots quarterback was asked about the "Patriot Way" and what coach Bill Belichick does differently to keep the Patriots playing at a high level on a consistent basis. Brady just said that Belichick makes his players focus on doing their job so everybody around them can do their jobs as well.
Brady also spoke about the team's injury problems and said that they have been fortunate to have a depth chart filled with talented and capable players.
Coach tries to put together a depth chart full of good players and the more good players you have, the better you're going to be. You can withstand certain injuries to players. We have good players that are able to step in and you have the expectations for the position, not the players. The running back has to do the job of the running back and do it very well, same as the quarterback or receiver, same as the tight end and offensive line. There were quite a few moving parts at a lot of those positions this year. Obviously with what Shane did the other night, that's a huge reason why we're playing in this game. Who knows who it's going to be this weekend, but hopefully we all go out there and play really well.
The Patriots will need to get past a stout Ravens defense, led by future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis, who is extra motivated due to the fact that he's retiring once the season comes to a close, and they'll have to contend with a re-built Ravens offense that has finally started to hit its stride.
The Patriots and Ravens are set for kickoff at 6:30 p.m. EST in Gillette Stadium on Sunday. The game will be broadcast nationally on CBS.