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You can say a lot about Houston, but they can play defense. "They've
still got the same players on the other side," Bennett said.
"When we played against them they were flying around. They had a lot
of good individuals. I think right now they brought it together and
they're playing very well as a team. All those individuals, you could name
them. From Simon to Clowney to Hal, all of those guys are playing very
well." They were in the worst Division in the NFL this year.
won with defense and a tricky offense. "We just know what our job is
and what we need to do in order for us to excel and in order for us to
win," Harmon said. "The best job for us to do is not letting the
offense score points. Whenever they get in the red zone, limit them to
three or get a turnover. Obviously, I think that that's well. I think the
way we've been playing in the run game all year, I think that really helps
us, especially in this stretch. If we can make teams one-dimensional and
get them away from their game plan, make them do things they do not want
to do, that's what we want. So if we can continue to keep working and pick
up where we left off, hopefully we can continue to execute the way we've
been doing." Now you can tell me that Houston can't beat the Patriots
with their dejected and reincarnated QB, and I would have trouble arguing
they can play defense. "It's phenomenal," Brady said about the
Houston defense. "It's hard to imagine taking away J.J., who's been
Defensive Player of the Year three times, and then still being the number
one ranked defense in the league. They just stepped up to the challenge.
They'd obviously much rather have him in there, but you know, sometimes
you face these situations and the rest of the guys really pick up the
slack." Clowney really stepped up last week, and we will see if he
can do it again this week.
the difference between a HOF life Watts, and a JAG. "I think they all
do a good job with what their role is," Brady said. "They move
guys into different spots and I think they do a good job with their front.
They move guys around and they still find ways to get to the quarterback
and force the ball out. Certainly in the wild card game last week they did
a lot of that and really made it challenging for that offense. We've just
got to hone in. There's a lot of great communication we're going to need.
We're blocking a very good scheme, but also great players, so it's no easy
task for us." Their defense was great last week.
question is can they beat the Pats with just defense, like the Broncos did
last year in the Playoffs. "I just think the guy's the most poised
quarterback in the NFL," Clowney said about Brady. "Playing him,
he doesn't get rattled at all most of the time. He just keeps staying
calm, and that's what makes him so good. He just stays calm back there.
Even when you do get the pressure, he steps up and makes the best pass.
You got to get after him. We just have to go in there, execute our game
plan and try to force him into some bad throws and some turnovers. Try to
get away with a win." They know the Pats system and have played them
enough to know what the Pats want to do.
can call it a laugher, but this is the biggest game of the season for the
Pats, period. "I view it as the biggest game that we've played all
season against the best defense that we've played all season," Brady
said. "I don't see any letdown from us. That's ridiculous to think
that. I'm preparing like this is the hardest game we've faced all season,
which it will be, and it means the most. There's only one priority for all
of us this week, and that's to be at our best mentally, physically,
emotionally for three hours on Saturday night starting at 8:00 p.m. All of
my attention is focused on those three hours and getting prepared for that
moment so that we can go out and play with anticipation and confidence
against the best defense we've played all season. There's nothing easy
about it." Arrogance can lose a game as quick as blueberry turnovers.
defense is stacked with stars who can change a game with one big play.
"He's an incredible player," Brady said about Clowney. "I
mean, he's obviously had so much promise since he came into the league and
he's really shown everybody why he was picked one overall. He does so many
things well. He's obviously got all of the size, but the speed, the
quickness, and how hard he is playing. He's chasing guys down from behind
and making plays." He is an obvious physical freak.
finally turned his elite physical skills into impact plays on the field in
the Playoffs against the Raiders. "The
plays last week were huge in the wild card game; the interception, the
tipped balls. He kind of does everything for them. He's really come on,
and like I said, they've got a good scheme. They've got a great
scheme," Brady said. "They're well-coached, and then with
players like Jadeveon, Brian Cushing I have a lot of respect for, all of
their guys in the secondary, Vince and what he does. Whitney Mercilus is a
great player. We've played against him a bunch. Antonio Smith comes in
some passing situations and does a great job of getting after the
quarterback. It's a big test for our offense. They don't have any
weaknesses on defense. So we're going to just have to play good sound
football and try to take advantage of our opportunities if we get
them." I was very impressed with Mercilus on tape last week.
was looking like a Pro Bowler to me. "My thought process about the
game, just understanding exactly what to look for and how to play a lot
faster without thinking, that’s what was one of my problems,"
Mercilus said. "So I’ve been able to change that especially sitting
down with Coach Vrabel in actually dissecting the game. Now you’ll
probably see me like 20 yards where the ball is at, because I know exactly
where the ball is going now." He sounds ready to go, and not
ah-scared at all.
has a bunch of great defensive players, like some guy named Buoye.
"He's had an incredible year. What a great young player and great
future that he has," Brady said. "I mean, he's just shut a lot
of people out over the course of the season. He seems like he's a feisty
young player. He's certainly not afraid to get in there and play in the
run game, but really his coverage skills are very impressive for someone
of his size. He's got all of the makings of what it takes to be a great
corner in this league. He's surrounded by Kareem [Jackson] and Johnathan
[Joseph], who I've played a lot of football against. I have a lot of
respect for those guys and what they do. Quintin Demps is a hell of a
player. He's had a great season. [Andre] Hal has had a great year at
safety. They've got a great group back there." They don't give up a
lot of space for the QB to throw into.
McKinney can play. "They play some five-DB's with McKinney and
Cushing as the linebackers," BB said. "But I mean they have good
coverage players. They use them in different roles. They lost Johnson.
They lost Dillon, but they've had other guys step in there. Moore has
played well for them, obviously Demps. Demps had a big year in terms of
turning the ball over. Buoye has played well for them outside. He played
inside a little bit against us. Joseph, Jackson, Nelson has played well. I
mean, they're all a good group." That secondary is impressive.
Demps has turned into a great Safety for them. "They have good
players. Good players, good pass rush, good coaches, they're well-coached,
have good fundamentals," BB said. "They don't give up a lot of
long balls. They're competitive on really just about everything. All
three, really all four of their corners including Nelson have played well.
Demps has six interceptions. Hal, Moore. They're all good. They're good at
linebacker with Cushing, McKinney. They play a lot of six-DB's." They
are a very tough defense, with their two ILB helping in coverage and
blitzing like Collins and Hightower used to do for the Pats.
can still get outside, and stuff the outside run all by himself. "He
plays so hard," Brady said. "He's on the field every snap. He's
obviously smart. He's got all of the instincts. He's got the experience.
He's got all of the athleticism. He does well in the run game and the pass
game, is a very strong tackler. When those plays are running through you
as the ‘mike' linebacker you've got to be on top of everything and it
looks like everybody can really count on him every time and he's had a
phenomenal season." Their linebackers cause a lot of problems.
and McKinney are the heart and soul of their offense. "And I think
that along with their pass rush, they have great coverage at linebacker
with McKinney and Cushing," Brady said. "They can get after the
quarterback. So they stop the run, play on their terms, get after the
quarterback. They've got a lot of good scheme stuff that Romeo does that
is challenging to prepare for. There's nothing easy about it. There are no
plays off. They challenge you in every aspect, so we've just got to be
very sharp. Our execution has to be at its highest level, and it's going
to be the toughest defense we've faced all year. We're going to have to
see if we can meet that challenge." Their defense is ranked number
one for a reason.
don't forget the Mighty Vince. "I think I've spoken at length about
my respect and admiration for Vince and his career. Right now we're just
focused on getting our team ready to play Saturday night," BB said,
then continued. "I mean, they're very good on defense. They've got a
lot of good players. Vince has a solid role for them. I'm sure he gives
them great leadership. A strong player, hard to block, smart." He
Buddy! We miss you! "I've looked over center for many years and seen
him. He's just in a different jersey [now]," Brady said. "But
he's still just a force. I mean, both in the run game and the pass game.
He still gets pressure in the pocket. Vince has been one of the best
players in the league since he got in the league. He's been a great
addition for that team. I hate playing against him. I'd much rather have
him on our team, but that's not the way it works out, or worked out last
year. But it's still great to see him playing and playing well." If
we win, it will be good to see him play again.
of course Clowney. "With a guy like that: he's so talented, very
athletic, very long, you've got to be playing great ball," Solder
said. "You've got to be working with your teammates, you've got to be
able to change things up on him and be able to play really well when you
need to." He has been on fire the past couple of games.
Pats O-line had better be ready to play, because Houston is going to be
coming from every angle. "It's been a real blessing for our team,
because your right, last year was so challenging," Brady said about
the O-line. "Guys were in and out. We had some big, kind of
catastrophic injuries with guys being out all season, and then we had some
week-to-week stuff where guys were coming from center to tackle, and
tackle to guard, and switching sides of the line which is a big challenge.
This year we've had a lot of stability, which is great for any offensive
line, and it's really been a big part of the reason why I think our
offensive line has played so well. We've had a great season up front and
the guys have done such a great job in the run game and the pass
game." Last year the O-line was decimated.
season they have been playing together all season long, and that
continuity could take them to the Super Bowl. "Joe playing next to
Nate all season, and Dave really kind of anchoring the middle, and then
Shaq and Marcus have been together," Brady said. "So I think you
gain a lot of trust in one another when you're playing next to each other,
and there's a lot of things that come up where maybe it's a lot of
anticipation, a lot of non-verbal communication that goes on that needs to
happen over the course of an entire game to be productive. Our guys up
front have really taken to that. They've just done such a great job for us
all year. It's really been the strength of our offense." They are
going to have to have their best game of the season.
this idea that the Pats can stroll into Foxboro with a picnic basket
filled pie, apple turnovers, and cake and go home with a victory is
ludicrous. This game is going to be a big, tough, ugly, slugfest. Their
defense is armed and ready to do some damage. They don't give a crap about
the last time they came into Foxboro and got blown out. In fact that game
pisses them off, and they want revenge. They're not scared. They're
Win Or Go Home.-
The Playoffs are a different cat. "I mean, it's win or go home
football," Hogan said. "You want to go out there and put your
best foot forward. Things are going to be up and down during the game.
It's not always going to be perfect so you just have to go out there and
learn from whatever adjustments we have to make and just keep playing good
football." Lots of guys die on the plains of the Playoffs.
all pressure all the time. "You've got to prepare like you're playing
a new team, which we pretty much are," Edelman said. "When a
team is going through September, it's usually a team trying to find its
identity. Around the league, everyone is trying to find where they're at.
Completely different teams, this will be the best team we've played all
year. Any time you play a team that's won a playoff game already, it's
most certainly going to be the best team you've played thus far. It's
going to be a big battle. We know Billy-O, he's going to have that team
coming in here fighting hard. They're going to be well-coached. They have
a lot of good players."You
win or get buried in history.
the Pats slept last week, Houston's D killed the Raiders. "They've
been playing as well as any secondary that we've faced all season,"
Brady said. "Their cover guys have done such a great job for that
defense and there is a reason why they're ranked number one. They don't
give up any easy yards in the pass game. They don't give up any big plays.
They're really well-coached, which is very easy to see. I think they've
just really come on over the course of the whole season. I've just been
very impressed with what I've seen." They defended their Home turf.
Patriots are the most experienced in this atmosphere left in the Playoffs.
But they still have a surprising amount of players who now have less
Playoff experience than the Houston players got last week. So to think
that Houston is just going to lay down is ridiculous.
night is going to be a war. "I think for me personally, the
excitement and anticipation grows with every season because you know those
opportunities are becoming less and less," Slater said. "As a
young player, I really had no idea what to expect or how fortunate I was
to be on a playoff team, but as an older player, you really appreciate
those opportunities. You really have to work harder to make sure you
contain yourself and you pace yourself throughout the week. I'm excited
about the opportunity to play in another playoff game. A lot of players
don't get this opportunity over the course of their careers. I just need
to stay in the day-to-day, make sure I do what I need to do to prepare
each and every day, and then come Saturday, let it rip." Do or die
is no tomorrow in the Playoffs. "I don't think it's like any other
game," Solder said. "I think that we go about our process the
way we've done it all year in terms of preparing really hard, getting to
know them really well, but we know that this is a one-shot deal and we
have one opportunity to play our best ball on Saturday." You win or
you go home.
A Citizen! Not a Subject!
It's time for Democrats to stand up and fight
the power for those who need
help the most,