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New England Patriots Links 1/23/12 - AFC Champions Edition: Defense Delivers

Patriots Post-game quotes. Just a sampling here, click on the link for more.

Jerod Mayo (On reaching the Super Bowl)

"I got my first playoff win this year and I have my first AFC Championship win. Just seeing guys like Rodney [Harrison] and Drew [Bledsoe] come back - guys like that - and being able to continue on with the legacy of winning. Hopefully we can get one more. It's huge for me."

Brandon Spikes (On the defense forcing the Ravens to kick a field goal at the end)

"It is the mental toughness. We have been talking about it all year. Baltimore is a great team but we made a stop."

Matt Light (On what was going through his mind when Billy Cundiff lined up for the potential game-tying field goal)

"I had my eyes closed, man. I wasn't going to watch that one. That was a little too much stress for this guy, but it was unbelievable man. Things happen for a reason."

Sterling Moore (On when Evans caught the ball what was going through your mind)

"It wasn't in my mind to slap the ball out, it was just a split second decision and I'm glad it worked out. We do that drill every day in practice (stripping the ball) but it was the first time I had to use it in a game and I just took what I learned from practice into the game."

Aaron Hernandez (On what motivates the team)

"The thing about this team is that we have a lot of competitive players who love the game and play with their hearts. We all came out and fought. We fought all week in practice and we were ready for this game."

Rob Gronkowski (On the team's emotions after the game)

"Emotions are flying high. It's unbelievable. It's my second year in the league, playing with a great team, and you have to enjoy the moment. It doesn't even feel right, especially playing with the veterans here. I watched them go to the Super Bowl as I was growing up and now I'm part of it? It is an unreal moment and you can't take it for granted."

BenJarvus Green-Ellis (On how inspiring the crowd was)

"It was good to get them going. It was loud in there at times, especially on those last couple drives. We need that ‘12th man.' This was the last home game of the season, so I hope they blew out all their lungs and their vocal boxes and everything [laughter]."

Shaun Ellis (On what it says about the Patriots that they can win even when the offense struggled)

"We're a relentless bunch of guys. Even though the game is not going right, we can just keep it manageable or just take it over. We have Tom Brady. He can makes things happen. But today it came down to the defense. The offense has been bailing us out all year. And today, it was our turn. Last week and today, it was our turn to return the favor."



  • Mike Reiss gives us his first take on the Patriots AFC Championship win.
  • Greg A. Bedard gives us his detailed post-game report with this key stat: Patriots only allowed 6 points off their three turnovers.
  • Shalise Manza Young recaps the edge-of-your-seat 23-20 win over the Ravens.
  • Greg A. Bedard recalls nobody talked about Vince Wilfork leading up to the game, but they'll be talking about him now.
  • Dan Duggan spotlights Vince Wilfork as the main man of the moment.
  • Steve Silva posts some raw footage of the Patriots celebrating their AFC Championship victory on the field. (3 min. video)
  • Ian Rapoport notes the Patriots feel they may have been helped on that last missed field goal attempt, but now they have a chance to right some history.
  • Jeff Howe reports Rob Gronkowski leaves Gillette Stadium in a walking boot, but says he'll "be ready" for the Super Bowl.
  • Mark Farinella witnessed Rob Gronkowski's swollen ankle in the locker room, but Gronk says he's "fine".
  • Karen Guregian lauds the defense for saving Brady's bacon yesterday.
  • Christopher Price tells us ten things we learned Sunday: Patriots continue to disprove the doubters.
  • Bob Ryan writes that "wide left" will be regarded around here as merely the final chapter in 'a gridiron adventure novel'.
  • Ron Borges observes few people would have expected that one of the surviving defenses would belong to the Patriots.
  • Dan Shaughnessy likens this team to the 2001-02 group of no-names and overachievers who carried their magic to the Super Bowl.
  • Mike Reiss offers a quick take on Patriots vs. Giants.
  • Mike Reiss shares some NBC chatter on Pats-Giants.
  • Steve Buckley points out it's been seven long months since Boston sports fans last celebrated a championship.
  • John Powers notes Aaron Hernandez proves how he's the most versatile Patriot once again.
  • Michael Vega points out the hard running efforts from BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
  • Mike Petraglia says Brandon Spikes picks a real good time to come of age.
  • Mike Reiss charts the offensive snaps played Sunday.
  • Mike Reiss looks at the special teams units and notes Stephen Gostkowski gets the job done.
  • Mike Reiss looks at the positional groupings utilized by the Patriots.
  • Mike Petraglia mentions how as Robert Kraft was holding the Lamar Hunt trophy, he received a call from his friend Elton John.
  • Zuri Berry recaps the game in drive-by-drive detail.
  • WEEI highlights Tom Brady's Monday morning call-in to the Dennis & Callahan show.
  • Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Sterling Moore had the play of the game, knocking a pass right out of the hands of WR Lee Evans in the end zone with 22 seconds left; Brandon Spikes showed up his critics who said he couldn't cover on passing downs; Matt Light shut up and shut down Terrell Suggs, who finished with only one QB hit; Shaun Ellis is more than happy with his decision to sign with the Patriots this season; Danny Woodhead thanked the defense for holding Baltimore to a FG after his fumble, and made up for it with a 41-yard return.
  • Shalise Manza Young & Michael Whitmer Patriots Notebook: Sterling Moore used his instincts to be in position to knock out Lee Evans' TD catch; Rob Gronkowski left the game after Bernard Pollard rolled his ankle; Kyle Arrington had an eye injury and Vince Wilfork was spotted with a wrap on his elbow; Chad Ochocinco returned just in time for the game; Brandon Spikes dreamed about this game before it was played.
  • Brandon Lawrence tells us what went right and what went wrong for the Patriots at Gillette Sunday.
  • Mark Farinella gives us his Hots and Nots from Patriots-Ravens.