Patriots Still a ‘Routine Machine,’ Run Through Typical Monday to Kick Off AFC Championship Week


FOXBORO, Mass. — It was a typical Monday at Gillette Stadium for the Patriots, who ran through the film of their victory against the Broncos before briefly starting their prep work for the Ravens.

Though the stakes have changed, the schedule has remained intact. The players reported for meetings to examine Saturday's performance — even a resounding 45-10 victory needs its critiquing — before receiving some early instruction on the Ravens. Interestingly, the defense met for an hour longer than the offense.

"We need to get back to work," wide receiver Wes Welker said. "We had a good performance this weekend, and we're going to need to repeat that and even more so to have a chance this weekend."

The Patriots won't fully engulf themselves in the Baltimore game plan until they return to the facility Wednesday, which is usually the true start of their work week. It's consistent with previous weeks, though, causing rookie tackle Nate Solder to call the Patriots "a routine machine." But they got enough tape Monday to start their homework on the Ravens, and that's what they'll do.

"You're that much closer to your ultimate goal," safety James Ihedigbo said. "Your preparation has to increase. Your level of intensity has to increase. You're playing for something huge here — an opportunity to go to the Super Bowl and be Super Bowl champs. Nothing else matters at this point."

Have a question for Jeff Howe? Send it to him via Twitter at @jeffphowe or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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