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Bill Belichick says Patriots need their best to beat Colts

FOXBOROUGH – After taking Tuesday off, the Patriots went back to work Wednesday to begin on-field preparations for Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the visiting Indianapolis Colts.

Bill Belichick and a handful of players – Tom Brady, Vince Wilfork, Dan Connolly, and Matthew Slater – met with the media in podium press conferences carried live on the NFL Network.

For Belichick and Brady, it’s the ninth time they will participate in the AFC Championship Game. They’ll be looking for their sixth spot in a Super Bowl with the Patriots, and seeking their first title in 10 years.

“On behalf of the team and the organization, it’s a great honor to be playing in this game,” Belichick said. “The team has worked hard and long to get this opportunity. We’re excited about it, we have a tremendous amount of respect for our opponent.”


Sunday’s game will be a rematch from a Week 11 matchup at Indianapolis, won by the Patriots, 42-20. The Colts have lost only one game since, and have won two playoff games to reach this point: they beat the Bengals at home, then won at Denver to earn a spot in their first AFC Championship Game since the 2010 season.

“Very good football team, well coached, good fundamentals,” Belichick said. “Offensively they’re as explosive a team as there is in the league, both in the regular season and the postseason. They’ve been very consistent at making big plays. “This is a team … we’ll have to play and coach our best game of the year.”

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.