As Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell pointed out to his eventual chagrin, a Steelers-Patriots AFC Championship Game would have been a repeat of a regular season game between the teams.
That’s not the case for the Jaguars-Patriots matchup that will get underway on Sunday afternoon. The two teams haven’t played since the 2015 season, but they did spend some time together for joint practices this summer. It doesn’t sound like Patriots coach Bill Belichick will be taking much from those sessions, however.
Belichick said in a Monday conference call that there’s been “a lot of water under the bridge” since that preseason work wrapped up, which might not lend much relevance to what will happen next Sunday.
“I don’t know,” Belichick said. “That was a long time ago. I think right now what it’s about is getting ready to play this game. That was a different point in time, different emphasis. I don’t know.”
Belichick said the team has only just started “to really dig in” on the Jaguars because they didn’t know who they’d be playing until Sunday afternoon. He’s done enough to see that their win in Pittsburgh was “very impressive” and that the defense can “bring a lot of problems,” so that might be a starting point for New England’s plans for this week.