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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Wed Sep 22 | 12:00 AM - 11:55 AM

Patriots.com News Blitz - 1/18/2008

Be prepared.

If you attend the AFC Championship Game this Sunday, you just might get an earful from Philip Rivers. The San Diego Chargers QB is developing the reputation of being a renowned trash-talker in a league that has its fair share of them.

He wasn't afraid to mix it up with Colts fans inside the RCA Dome last weekend, even while walking off the field after suffering a knee injury that ended his afternoon prematurely.

But Rivers insisted to the San Diego Union-Tribune that he only jabs verbally in jest.

"When it stops being fun, that's when I'll stop playing," he said. "But if you're in the backyard playing with a buddy and you're wearing him out, if you don't think you're going to let him ... All of us were there. You're not going to jab at him? If their parents walk outside, you're not going to tell them, 'Hey, I'm killing him today'? That's all it is. If we can't do that, then I don't know ... ."

Rivers failed to practice for the second straight day, but fellow injured teammate RB LaDainian Tomlinson did return after missing Wednesday's session with a bruised knee sustained against the Colts.

USA TODAY, meanwhile, caught up with Chargers DB Marlon McCree, who's interception of QB Tom Brady late in last year's playoff game was nullified when WR Troy Brown stripped him of the ball and New England recovered.

"This team is capable of winning the Super Bowl," McCree insisted in the story. "If this year ends well, hey, they won't even remember that play."

And on FOXSports.com, you'll find an analysis of both conference championships. Here's how the AFC looks to that particular writer.

"The Patriots have become like Mount Kilimanjaro over the last two months. They are there. They are unbelievably impressive. They dominate the landscape, inspiring awe and adulation. And there's very little to say about them that hasn't been said. Any positive commentary sounds obvious.

"As usual, the Patriots produced an enticing spread. They haven't been covering as often in the second half of the season, and 14 points are a potent underdog lure. The final score will nudge the spread, so take the Chargers if you feel lucky. But the Patriots will win."

QUICK HITS

According to a column on CBSNews.com, the Pats are experts at handling crises, like Randy Moss' recent legal trouble in Florida.

One business reporter seems to think the NFL is hoping for the Patriots to advance to Super Bowl XLII.

Oh, by the way, Indy's main newspaper issues an apology of sorts to the New Hampshire teen who was booed at the RCA Dome this past Sunday.

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