Patriots coach Bill Belichick said that his team has drawn up preliminary reports on both the Broncos and Chargers ahead of Sunday’s clash between the AFC West rivals so that they can hit the ground running on a fuller game plan once they know which team they’ll be facing.
During a conference call on Sunday, Belichick predictably offered no picks or preferences for which team the Patriots will face next weekend. Belichick was asked if he thought there was any advantage or disadvantage to having played Denver during the regular season or facing the Chargers for the first time. Belichick said he doesn’t see things that way.
“I do think this: whoever we play, these are the two best teams in the AFC and in order to play next week, you have to play well this week. Whichever team that is today that plays the best will deserve to play next week. We played well enough last night to be able to play next week. So whoever we play, we’re playing the other best team in the AFC,” Belichick said. “We’re going to have to play well. We’re going to have to play better than we played last night. The competition is going to get stiffer. I think we’ve all seen in the playoffs that it’s really about that game, that matchup, that day. 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.”
Belichick didn’t say anything about playing at home as opposed to on the road, but the Patriots will host the game next week if the Chargers win. That would make three straight years with the AFC title decided in Foxboro, where the Patriots split with the Ravens the last two years.