Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, defensive end Chandler Jones, and offensive tackle Nate Solder took to the podium in Foxborough Thursday to talk about Sunday’s AFC Championship game.
The first question for Edelman, of course, was how his arm felt after throwing a game-changing 51-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola this past Sunday against the Ravens.
“The arm is fresh, it’s nice,” he said.
Edelman, who played quarterback at Kent State from 2006-08, saved his first NFL pass for the perfect time. The play tied the game at 28 late in the third quarter and shifted the momentum in favor of the Patriots.
Although Edelman acknowledged that it was a “fun play,” he insisted that the Patriots are not looking back, just ahead to the Indianapolis Colts.
“You’ve got to be ready for everything against them,” Edelman said of the Colts’ defensive tendencies. “It’s a new game, a different situation. It’s the higher stakes. We’ll see what they have to do and we’ll be ready to adjust.”
The Colts and Patriots met in Indianapolis during Week 11, a game the Patriots won easily by a score of 42-20, but the Colts appear to be a stronger team now.
“They had kind of tailed off, but they’ve definitely gotten back to that formula winning these games,” Edelman said. “We’re going to have to be able to adapt and be able to adjust on the fly and see what they’re doing.
“It’s a whole new game and they’re coming off two [playoff] wins. This will be the best team we’ve played all year — two playoff wins.”
Solder also emphasized the Colts’ improvement, calling them “a much better team” than the one New England faced in November.
“They’re playing great,” he said. “Their defense has been stopping a lot of people. I think they’ve figured it out, what they are, and they’re playing it well.”
Jones, too, spoke about the strength of the Colts offense, specifically 25-year-old quarterback Andrew Luck.
“I really don’t see Andrew Luck as a young quarterback at all,” he said, “He plays like a veteran. Andrew Luck is a phenomenal player.”
Drafted by the Colts in 2012, Luck has played in the postseason in each of his three seasons in the NFL. In this past Sunday’s game at Denver, Luck threw for 265 yards and two touchdowns, but also had two passes intercepted. The Patriots hope to force similar mistakes.
“It’s just our job as a defense and as pass rushers, [including] myself, just to try to contain him and give him hell,” Jones said.
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