Sunday, January 12, 2014

Belichick: What happened last time isn't significant


When New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick spoke to the media via conference call Sunday, his opponent next week in the AFC Championship game had yet to be decided.

Belichick, however was certain of one thing.

"The competition is going to get stiffer," he said, via

As it turns out, the Patriots will be traveling to Denver next Sunday to face a Broncos team that held off a rallying San Diego Chargers squad in the Divisional round. New England decisively ousted the Indianapolis Colts the night before.

Unlike the Chargers, the Broncos had met with the Patriots in the 2013 regular season, and for Denver, the result wasn't pretty. The Patriots overcame a 24-0 halftime deficit by scoring on their first five possessions after the break, ultimately winning on a field goal in overtime.

Belichick, however, doesn't see that game having any bearing on next week's rematch.

"I think we've all seen in the playoffs that it's really about that game, that matchup, that day," he said. "Whatever happened during the regular season or some other year or some other time, or whatever reference point you want to take, is really not that significant.

"What it's about is how things go on that particular day, just being at our best on the biggest game of the year. All of us players, coaches, making good decisions, good execution, good communication, playing good situational football, playing good down-after-down consistent football."

New England has to have a slight mental edge considering what happened last time, though the scene will be flipped. The Patriots were in the confines of Gillette Stadium that November night, but next week, they'll be making their first trip to Denver since Peyton Manning took the reins of the Broncos.

Follow Nick @NickStDenis
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily