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New England Patriots Postgame Transcripts 1/20

HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK

Press Conference
Sunday, January 20, 2019

OPENING STATEMENT: “ I can’t say enough about the effort that our players gave tonight and the coaching staff. It was really just an awesome job by all of them. The players have worked so hard throughout the course of the season. I certainly thought they showed a lot of mental and physical toughness tonight against a great football team. The Chiefs are very well coached. They have a lot of great players and we expected it to be a 60 minute game and it turned out to be more than that. That was the way it was the last time we played them. It was obviously a great back and forth type of battle in the fourth quarter and throughout the entire game, but particularly in the fourth quarter. A lot of close calls and a lot of key plays. You could probably point to 50 plays that were critical plays in the game, but in the end we were able to make a few more than the Chiefs and that is why we are able to continue our season. Again, a great team job all the way around. I thought we got contributions from all three units and so many players it is hard to single out anybody. So many guys stepped up and competed so hard tonight. These guys earned it. They deserve it and they earned it. I am happy for them and happy we are still playing.”

Q: Is this special because of the road win for the championship?

BELICHICK: “I do not know. It is good to win. Wherever you win, it is good to win.”

Q: How did you handle how explosive their team is?

BELICHICK: “It is a tough decision. You cannot take it for granted scoring against these guys. We had some short yard situations that we did not convert. You try to play too cute and not score and then you are sitting here asking all of the other questions. We did what we thought was right and what we felt was best. In the end, it worked out. You could probably talk about 50 decisions tonight.”

Q: On players commenting on feeling good as a team after the win against the Bills and Jets…

BELICHICK: “I thought we played pretty good football at a lot of points during the season. Green Bay, Minnesota, Chicago, Kansas City. It is tough to win in this league, so whenever you get one, you feel good about it.”

Q: Was keeping them off the field in the first half part of your approach?

BELICHICK: “The thing is offensively is try to move the ball and score points. We didn’t end up with as many points as we would have liked to. That is really the name of the game. Then we got seven at the end of the half, which was kind of a unexpected thing were we got the ball and we were really looking to make sure we got out of the half without them scoring and we gave the screen pass to James (Develin) to get in scoring position and getting seven points before the half there, which are kind of bonus points if you will. We missed an opportunity to score when we were on the goal line earlier in the quarter.”

Q: What was your approach against (Tyreek) Hill?

BELICHICK: “He is a problem, obviously he made some plays tonight and he is a very explosive player. We doubled him a lot. They have so many weapons, you just can’t stop everybody. The backs, tight ends, the receivers, the quarterback, great coach, good game plan. Andy (Reid) got us with several scheme plays in the second half. They were really well designed and attacked our defense. You are just out there battling trying to hang on the best you can, but it is tough. This is a good football team.

Q: Were two of the toughest player tonight Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski?

BELICHICK: “They did. You can name 40 other guys too. I would name all 46 guys that were active and all 53 players on the roster. There are a lot of mentally tough players in that locker room. There are a lot of physically tough players in that locker room, a lot of guys that just go out there and compete and won’t quit and just battle you no matter the situation. They just go out there an compete and let the chips fall where they may and I think that is a good way to do it.”

Q: What did you think of Tom Brady’s performance, especially down the stretch?

BELICHICK: “He played great. They were playing a lot of man coverage and it was either a good gain or an incompletion. They played us a lot of man to man in the last part of the game and it was obvious. At times we hit it and at times we didn’t. They gave us some three man rush and there was a lot of four man rush with Justin Houston, Chris Jones and Dee Ford. Those are tough matchups. I thought they did a good job of standing up to those guys and give Tom a chance to deliver the ball. Chris (Hogan), Phil (Dorsett), obviously Julian and Rob, James White, I mean they all make great catches. Rex (Burkhead) gave us a lot of great plays. There is no one guy that can beat this team. You need confidence in everybody and the coaching staff did a great job.”

Q: On J.C. Jackson and Keion Crossen’s growth…

BELICHICK: “We moved some matchups around today. Tonight, we had some different combinations and tried to mix it up on them, but again they are great players. They (Hill and Kelce) are hard to defend. We had trouble with all of them, but Keion and J.C. have earned that opportunity through their consistent play. We all have trouble at times with the Chiefs. They are a great football team, but those guys competed well and we got off to a good start. We were able to get things fairly well under control, but once they got rolling and once they starting hitting their stride, it was tough.”

Q: How important was it to set the tone with your running game?

BELICHICK: “We had good contributions from everybody tonight. We ran the ball. We threw it to different receivers and different guys ran it. I don’t think you can keep doing the same thing against this team. You have got to try to keep them off balance and got to make them think it is one thing and try to do something else, it is even hard then. You cannot sit there and do the same thing all night. In the end we could have had a much better night offensively if we could have converted a couple of short yardage situations, but with the Chiefs every situation is challenging. They did a better job than we did on the goal line stop and a couple of the short yardage situations.”

Q: What did Edelman show you in overtime?

BELICHICK: “Julian is a competitor. From his first playoff game against the Ravens to tonight, this guy gives you all he has every play all the time. We all make mistakes out there. All plays we like to have back that aren’t perfect, but no one competes harder than Julian does and he puts a lot into it. You know what you are going to get with him. He is a very physically and mentally tough football player. He came through on a lot of big plays for us tonight.”

Q: How would you characterize going to another Super Bowl with Tom Brady?

BELICHICK: “I don’t know. Right now, I am just happy for our team and happy for our coaching staff, our players and the entire organization for what we accomplished tonight and we will start getting ready for the Rams. I don’t know about historical comparison. I will leave that to the experts here.”

Q: What did you think about Stephon Gilmore?

BELICHICK: “Whatever we ask them to do, they try to do their best at it. It may not be what they want to do or they would prefer to do something else, but they know how it helps the team and they understand what their role needs to be and they do the best they can to try and excel at it. I have tremendous respect for all of our players and our team for trying to do that. That is why we have a good team because we have a lot of guys who are unselfish and they are willing to do what helps the team. I appreciate that and we would not have won without that type of unselfishness, certainly Gilmore but many other players that have roles similar to that where they have to do what the team needs them to do and they do it.”

QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY

Press Conference
Sunday, January 20, 2019

Q: Has it hit you yet that you are actually going back?

BRADY: “To the Super Bowl? It hasn’t. It is hard to imagine. Yeah, it is a great feeling. I think we have overcome a lot this year. Down but not out, and we found a way to play our best the last four games – Buffalo, Jets, had the bye, played great against the Chargers and played really well today. We are going to need one more great game. That was a great way to end it. I was probably as excited as I have been in a long time. A lot of things, one play here or one play there could change everything, but that is football. I am just proud of our team.”

Q: How do you stay so calm in the biggest moments, especially when your team is down and you have to drive the team right back?

BRADY: “Part of playing sports is just staying in the moment. We always say one play at a time and you can’t make up for things that happen in the past. You just have to think about what you are going to do moving forward. Start of the fourth quarter, they scored. We are up three to start the fourth quarter. What a great opportunity to be against this team and to be ahead three in the fourth quarter with a chance to win is pretty sweet. They blew so many teams out this year. It is just a great opportunity for us, and we took advantage of it.”

Q: You dominated time of possession in this game. How big of a part of the gameplan was that and how much responsibility on offense did you feel to possess the ball to help your defense by keeping Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes off the field?

BRADY: “It was good. They have an explosive offense with (Travis) Kelce and (Tyreek) Hill, and Patrick, the way he played – he played a great game. You play on the road, it is going to be tough. What travels is running the ball and playing tough. That is good in any weather, any condition, any environment and any stadium. That was a big part of our game. Sony (Michel) ran his butt off. Rex (Burkhead) ran his butt off. I have been swearing too much the last 30 minutes so I am trying to cut back for a little bit (laughter). It is just a great game.”

Q: Is there something a little sweeter about this win, given the struggles during the season, the doubts about the team entering the postseason and winning on the road?

BRADY: “When you have 70,000 people cheering against you, it is pretty sweet when you win on the road. It is a hard thing to do in the NFL. It is certainly a hard thing to do against the first-ranked team in the conference who has been playing well all year and certainly playing well at home. We knew it was going to take a lot. It obviously took into overtime. It took some great plays and great conversions. Just proud of us getting the job done.”

Q: Last week, we asked about Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski and blocking. Can you talk about the big catches he had tonight and the huge conversions he had in the fourth quarter and overtime?

BRADY: “Yeah, huge. He caught the fade on Eric (Berry) and then caught the slant. He was playing his butt off. He has done that all year. He is out there, and whatever we ask him to do, he does with an enthusiasm about him. He is an incredible teammate and person. The kind of guy he is – I know everyone doesn’t know him personally – but he is just a great man. Just so happy to have been able to play with him for as long as we have.”

Q: You said you may have been excited as you have been in a long time. What was it about this game and moment that made you feel that way?

BRADY: “The odds were stacked against us. It hasn’t been that way for us in a while, and it certainly was this year. We started off so slow. Like I said, the last four games have been our best games. We ran it great in Buffalo. We threw it pretty well in the Jets [game]. We were really balanced. The defense was playing really well. We played great against the Chargers last week. This is a game offensively we did a good job. We had a couple of little screw ups but pretty good for the most part. Defensively, they hung on and played their butts off – shut them out in the first half, which was pretty spectacular. You are not going to shut this team out for four quarters, certainly not at home. It was a great team win.”

Q: You have been to a number of Super Bowls, but you always talk about the next one is the special one. What makes this next one so special, given you have been to many?

BRADY: “These are memories that will last a lifetime. I said it a few weeks ago, I am blessed to find something that I love to do that I love to work at. That has probably been the biggest blessing in my life. I love working hard at trying to make improvements. Every year, we start at a different place. I love the grind of it, being in the moment. This was an incredible win. I will remember this one for the rest of my life.”

Q: The third down conversions, particularly the ones in overtime, were those guys just getting open or were those due to the play calls in those areas?

BRADY: “A little of both. I think the scheme helped, but I think the route running and the catching were incredible. They were making the toughest catches in the middle of the field. Julian (Edelman) got hammered on the one – maybe there were two of them. Hogs (Chris Hogan) made an incredible catch in the fourth quarter there. It took everything. It was just a great, great team win.”

Q: You said the odds were stacked against you, and last week, you said everyone thinks you guys suck. Do you really believe that? It is the playoffs, you are the Patriots and you are still Tom Brady. Or is that just something you use as motivation?

BRADY: “Yeah.”

Q: Message to the fans back home? Everybody was indoors watching this game. What is your message to them.

BRADY: “Yeah, bundled up. We love you guys. Thanks for the incredible support all season. We played great at home, and it was nice to go on the road and just a spectacular win. Hopefully, the fans enjoyed it. I talked to my wife, I talked to my kids and I just talked to my parents, and they all had heart attacks almost (laughter). That is what these games come down to.”

Q: Your first Super Bowl win was against the Rams. Now, you are facing them again. Can you talk about the matchup with that high-quality team?

BRADY: “They are a great team. I haven’t studied them for one second all year so… We will get to them tomorrow. To get to this point is extremely difficult. They have faced some challenges. They have a great team, a great running back, a great offense and a great defense. Well-coached. It is going to be a great game.”

WIDE RECEIVER JULIAN EDELMAN

Press Conference
Sunday, January 20, 2019

Q: How close did you get to touching the punt that was initially called a muff?

EDELMAN: “I guess… I didn’t think I was that close. Thank God. It took a short hop on me, and I don’t play baseball. I didn’t touch it. It was close, though, I guess.”

Q: It was ruled [as close].

EDELMAN: “Yeah, it was.”

Q: How do you feel about going back to the Super Bowl for the third consecutive year?

EDELMAN: “I didn’t get to go last year so this is pretty awesome. It has been a crazy year. We are going to play an unbelievable opponent with LA (Rams). We just beat a really good football team. We knew it was going to go down to 60 minutes. A tough team. You have to tip your hat to Kansas City. This place was electric. We have one more game. It is going to start with unbelievable prep against a team that we don’t know. I look forward to it.”

Q: You guys made some big plays on third downs. You came up with a couple after the ball went off your hands for the interception. For you to be able to put the interception behind you and make those key plays, how challenging was that for you?

EDELMAN: “It is part of the game. I always preach you have to have a short memory, whether it is good or bad. That was a bad play. I felt awful, but you have to move on. You have to look forward to the next time your number is called. Some unbelievable plays by Chris (Hogan), Phil (Dorsett), Gronk (Rob Gronkowski), James (White), Rex (Burkhead), Sony (Michel) and the line. It was fun to watch. It was fun to be a part of it, but we have one more game. We get to play in the last game of the year, and this is what you play the game for. This was awesome. This was a great environment. It was the first time I have ever won on the road in the AFC Championship being here. I look forward to going and competing with the fellas in the last game of the year in Atlanta.”

TIGHT END ROB GRONKOWSKI

Press Conference
Sunday, January 20, 2019

Q: You had an up-and-down season but you came up big. How did this one feel for you?

GRONKOWSKI: "It felt good. The way the guys have been fighting all year long--the way we fought this game--I couldn't be more proud to be on this team. I'm more proud to be out here with the boys--how hard we just kept fighting. Defense, offense, special teams, a victory on the road, AFC Championship Game. It was one of my sweeter victories, definitely, in my career."

Q: What does it mean for Tom Brady to come to you time after time in big moments?

GRONKOWSKI: "You have to play a full 60 minutes. You can get covered one play and not look so good but you have to have confidence in each other. That's what practice is all about and that's what knowing each other is all about--knowing that when it comes to those situations, you can put that ball up. I've got to go and make the play. It's crunch time--you make the play or you're done, you're out of the playoffs. It's huge. It's the trust that we have in each other. We love playing with each other--just the bond we have to always be on the same page when we need to be is huge."

Q: When the game was going back and forth, and you were down was there ever any doubt?

GRONKOWSKI: "No, there wasn't. We knew if we kept fighting that we were going to put up a battle. We were giving all we had. I'm pretty sure everyone on the team gave it all we had today. That's all we can ask for, and in the end, the results came out great. We were battling the whole game--first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, fourth quarter and overtime. We were preparing all year for situations like this--conditioning levels--and it all pays off and shows with a victory like this."

Q: What was going through your head when you won the coin toss in overtime and knew you would start with the ball with a chance to win?

GRONKOWSKI: "We just knew we had to go down and score. We were saying on the sidelines, 'Let's just go down and end this now. Let's make some plays. Everyone step up.' Everyone did. Everyone was making highlight catches left and right, getting first downs--it was just huge and it was crucial. That's what we did. We drove the ball down the field and we scored by running the ball in and getting that victory, which was huge."

Q: What is it like going from being targeted once in the divisional round to being targeted six times against Kansas City?

GRONKOWSKI: "It's just basically what the doctor orders (laughing). Or what the coach orders--coach/doctor orders. Whatever it is. I have to block, I have to receive. It's crucial. The team depends on me in many situations in the run game and in the pass game. I've just been fighting all year long so when situations come like this I'm ready to go and ready to make some plays. So whatever coaches ask me to do I'm always down to try my best and give it my all."

SAFETY DEVIN MCCOURTY

Press Conference
Sunday, January 20, 2019

Q: You guys all year have said that you pride yourselves on your conditioning, how much of a factor is it in these big games that go into overtime? There were over 100 plays, how well conditioned you are?

MCCOURTY: “It’s a fact but I think at this point in time you have two teams playing for a championship. I didn’t feel like they died at any point in the game, they kept coming back and I think both teams knew that we had to keep going and see how this thing ends. We came out and played lights out in the first half, up 14-0. I’m sure they went in at halftime like 14 points we can do that easy. Just to play in a game like that, that’s a true battle, going back and forth like that, really two teams will.”

Q: How much pride will you have when you look at the stat sheet and (Chiefs WR) Tyreek Hill had only one catch?

MCCOURTY: “I mean we did a good job. I’m sure you all watched the game, it wasn’t a one-man effort with that guy. He asked us a couple of times why we didn’t leave him one-on-one, I told him he should like the game plan. To me it was competitive, like I said you had to compete, you have to try and make it hard on him each play and still when (Patrick) Mahomes, like we always say, ‘having one great receiver is cool but when you have a great quarterback that’s still able to make plays and buy time’. Their offense is really tough, they drew up some good plays against some of the things we were doing. I thought we did a good job of just moving on to the next play and continuing to battle.”

Q: When you guys went out there and won the toss, how confident were you in the offense to take the ball and score on the first drive?

MCCOURTY: “You saw me, I ran off (the field) soon as I saw it was heads. I saw heads and I know what happens at the end of this one.”

RUNNING BACK JAMES WHITE

Press Conference
Sunday, January 20, 2019

Q: Tom Brady was just in here and he was talking about how he was probably as emotional as he’s been in a long time. What did you notice from his emotion after the game?

WHITE: “I think we all were pretty emotional, coming into a rough environment, mostly everyone thinking we weren’t going to win this football game. We took it as a challenge, knew it was going to be a tough four-quarter football game, against a good football team that we beat and it took everything we had.”

Q: How much did you set the tone on that first drive, 15 plays 80 yards. How much does that set the tone for this game?

WHITE: “It definitely set the tone a little bit. Playing against an offense like that who can score anytime, it’s good for us to go out and score on our first drive. Obviously we didn’t kind of keep foot on the gas in the 2nd-3rd quarter but we just found a way to win the football game.”

Q: Why did the game plan sort of dominate time of possession? You doubled the number of plays, you had like 90-something plays, they ran 47. Was that part of the game plan to sort of help your defense?

WHITE: “Well we knew we had to run the football. It wasn’t just about the time of possession. They’re a good pass defense, they have good pass rushers so you just can’t drop back and throw the ball 60 times. We had to run the ball effective.”

Q: James, you’ve talked about it all week, I know what was said but how important was it to start fast and get a 14-0 lead going into halftime?

WHITE: “It’s important to start fast but we knew that no lead is unreachable from these guys. They can score in two, three each drive so we had to score more points. They fought back, took the lead, just a crazy football game. I’m just happy to come out with a win.”

PLAYERS IN THE LOCKER ROOM

RB REX BURKHEAD

Q: How good does this feel right now?

BURKHEAD: “It feels great. All of the hard work we’ve put in, this whole year. We get to play one more. It was a great game. The Chiefs are a great team. I’m blessed to be a part of this team. We got a bunch of guys with a whole lot of character. It’s just fun to be a part of this.”

Q: Talk about the third down conversions at the end of the regulation and the end of the game.

BURKHEAD: “It was huge. We needed those to keep moving forward and having a great drive. Tom [Brady] did a great job getting the ball off to Gronk (Rob Gronkowski). When you get momentum like that, it kind of helps finish those drives off.”

Q: How did it feel scoring on the final play to punch your ticket to Atlanta?

BURKHEAD: “It’s fun. You get in and you hear everyone screaming. Not the fans here, in this case. You hear your teammates and then they’re lifting you up. It’s a great feeling. I’m just happy to be a part of this team and have another chance at a Super Bowl.”

Q: Describe the feeling during the final drive.

BURKHEAD: “We knew if we scored that the game was over. We needed to score a touchdown, of course. Our mentality was that we needed to punch this thing in the whole time. The third down conversions, continually doing that, and spreading the ball around really helped with that. The offensive line did a tremendous job up front and James Develin opened up some holes there in the end and made my job easy.”

Q: What are you thinking when your number is called on the final play?

BURKHEAD: “I was thinking that hopefully that I can get this thing in and when it happened, it’s a feeling that you really can’t describe.”

Q: What’s the feeling like when the coin flip in overtime goes your way?

BURKHEAD: “It’s on us. It gives us a little energy and excitement to go out there and finish the game off. We’re up for the challenge and the offensive line did a tremendous job.”

RB SONY MICHEL

Q: Has it sunk in that you’re going to the Super Bowl?

MICHEL: “No, it hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s a surreal feeling – amazing feeling right now. Sooner or later, it’s going to sink in.”

Q: There were so many ups and downs there in the fourth quarter. How do you keep your composure and your focus?

MICHEL: “That’s part of football. There’s going to be a lot of ups and downs throughout the game. It’s all about just playing your game – continue to compete, continue to execute.”

Q: How important was your running game to keep their [the Chiefs] offense off the field?

MICHEL: “The running game is always important to this team because it helps open things up. Tonight, I think we did a pretty good job. We have a tremendous offensive line. The receivers did a good job. Guys took pride in what they were doing tonight .”

Q: In the first half, you all dominated the time of possession. Talk about what you did there.

MICHEL: “We just went out there and executed our game plan. Guys did their jobs and it helped us drive the ball down the field. That’s what we needed. We needed a fast start and they kind of helped us.”

WR CHRIS HOGAN

Q: You guys converted several third and 10s on the last drive. How can you simply explain why you were able to do that as a group – down after down?

HOGAN: “It’s our players – Julian [Edelman], Gronk [Rob Gronkowski], Sony [Michel], Rex [Burkhead], James [White], CP [Cordarrelle Patterson], Phillip [Dorsett] – you go down the list. Everyone was stepping up and making plays in big time situations. We needed them today and we got them.”

Q: How happy were guys that you won the coin toss?

HOGAN: “To have the opportunity to put a good drive together, go down and score, and potentially end the game. I liked our chances.”

Q: You guys seemed to have a lot of success when Julian [Edelman] would go in that short motion to stack with you guys. What was the thought process behind that?

HOGAN: “They had a lot of man coverage. Any time we were able to use another guy to get off clean off the line. That was just in our game plan and we were able convert a couple times.”

Q: What does it mean to be going to another Super Bowl?

HOGAN: “It’s unbelievable – three Super Bowls in a row. I don’t really have words to kind of explain that. I’m just really happy for the guys in this room. We’ve worked really hard. I just know that we love winning and we love to work. We’ve been working all year for this moment and we did it. And, now we’ve got a little more work to do.”

WR MATTHEW SLATER

Q: On the performance of WR Julian Edelman.

SLATER: “This is the best team in the AFC that we played tonight. So, we knew that things were going to go back and forth. Julian has great resolve. I think you’ve seen that over the course of his career. Today was just another example of that. He’s been through so much, injuries, what happened earlier in the game today, and he just continues to keep his head down and keep grinding and that’s what he did tonight.”

Q: Do you marvel at that (Edelman’s performance), or do you just come to expect it?

SLATER: “I think you never take something like that for granted. I know the man very well. I lived with him for four years. I know who he is. I don’t want to say I marvel at it now, because of who he is, but you don’t take it for granted.”

Q: He (Edelman) takes things hard when he thinks he has let his team down on a play.

SLATER: “Absolutely, he’s a competitor. He’s going to take those things hard. But he’s going to keep fighting. That’s not only the story of Julian Edelman, but it’s also the story of all 53 guys on this team.”

Q: This is the first team to go to three straight Super Bowls in the salary cap era, what does that say about this organization’s ability to find the right people and put them on the field?

SLATER: “It says a lot. It certainly does. I think this league has more parity in it than any other professional sports league, in my opinion. I think it says a lot about our structure, program, and the things that we value, the things that you cannot measure all the time. But again, we talk about that a lot in our locker room. There are a lot of things that go into who you are as a man and your make up that really matter when you’re doing things as a professional. Whether you’re covering, playing or coaching. And I think we do a good job of identifying men that understand that and buy in to what we try to do.”

OL MARCUS CANNON

Q: Is this one of the greatest offensive line performances of all time?

CANNON: “I don’t know. I haven’t seen the film. I’m grateful and thankful for it. We got to keep it rolling to the week after next.”

Q: Were you excited to come out and run the ball as much as the offense did?

CANNON: “I definitely was. We trust Josh [McDaniels], whatever he tells us we’re going to do, then we know that’s the best thing to do and we got pretty happy that we were going to run. KC has a really good defensive line and it’s not very easy to run on them, so we knew it was going to be a challenge. Definitely a challenge with these guys. We were pretty excited that the first play was going to be a run.”

Q: How much confidence did you have in overtime?

CANNON: “We just knew that, ‘Alright, this is the time.’ We have to try and be as perfect as we can, and it still wasn’t perfect. We knew that this was it. We have to do the best we can to be as perfect as we can. There was some good and there was some bad, but we got the job done.”

Q: How do you describe Tom Brady leading the comeback in the fourth quarter? Do you expect it?

CANNON: “Thankful … Kansas City’s defense is too good to ever just count them out. Even when we were up by 14, we knew that ‘we’re up 14, but we got to score’. I wasn’t worried about the offense, I wasn’t thinking about them, but their defense is so good and their offense is great, we knew that ‘alright, we got to start working.’

DL TREY FLOWERS

Q: On the game.

FLOWERS: “This game was one of those games that was very emotional. It took everything we had and we did it.”

Q: You watched that drive in overtime. Was there ever a doubt with Tom Brady with the ball?

FLOWERS: “No. Never a doubt. Tom Brady did some great things. You knew that once we got the ball it was game over. I mean I was ready to go out [and play defense] if I had to. But, he put it away for us. It’s just a blessing.”

Q: How about the defense in the first half the way you guys held Patrick Mahomes.

FLOWERS: “It took everybody. Everybody did a good job initially. Obviously, we knew they were going to fight back and continue to get back in the game. They [the Chiefs] didn’t get this far without being mentally and physically tough. We knew it was going to be a game. They made some plays, but we made more.”

Q: What’s it like playing in a game like that?

FLOWERS: “It’s an emotional roller coaster. It’s one of those games where it’s one play at a time, one snap at a time. They made some plays. We couldn’t get down on ourselves. Our offense went out there and handled our business. We [the defense] went out there and held the rope. It’s one of those things where it took everybody. It’s amazing.”

Q: About Julian Edelman.

FLOWERS: “He’s a guy that works hard. He’s so clutch. He makes the big plays. He trains for those big plays. All of those guys – the offensive line – they did such a great job.”

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