The Patriots and the Jaguars were the last two teams standing in the AFC last season and the Patriots advanced to the Super Bowl with a fourth quarter comeback on their home field.
The two teams are going to face off again in Jacksonville this Sunday with a little bit less at stake than the last time around. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady still expects both sides to be amped up for the contest.
“It’s going to be an emotional environment,” Brady said, via a transcript of his press conference. “I think everyone, whenever you play some of the best teams, you want to see where you’re measured up to, and that defense has been ranked very high all last year, and I could see why. We practiced against them. They were very good. They’ve got a lot of very talented players — some of the guys that are probably the best at their position. So, it’s going to be a great environment for football — 4:30 game, so everyone’s going to be watching. It should be a really great game for us to go out and see what we’re made of.”
One piece of the emotional landscape is cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who discussed both Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski in recent interviews. He said Brady doesn’t suck, which the quarterback said he appreciates, but was less kind about Gronkowski and Brady was asked how trash talk can impact a game.
Brady said he thinks “it raises everybody’s game as long as it doesn’t get to the point where you do something stupid” because emotion is “critical” in football. That didn’t lead him to engage in any trash talk of his own as he called Ramsey a great player and it would be a surprise to see anyone with the Patriots throw down the gauntlet before everything cuts loose on Sunday.