Jimmy Golen of the Associated Press writes about Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft after the Patriots AFC Championship win. "To win the game in front of your own fans ... wow," Kraft said. "It might not happen again in my lifetime." Kraft also believed that his late wife, Myra, was present at the Patriots win. "There are forces at work beyond anything we can understand. I believe in spirituality, so I believe she's smiling and watching everything," Kraft said. After the game Kraft spoke with Elton John, a friend of Kraft and a Patriots fan. "I love you, man," Kraft told the singer. "He always would call and he'd speak to my wife first," Kraft said. "Usually he calls after the Super Bowl. Whether he's in Dubai or wherever he is, he watches our game. He's a huge Patriots fan."
Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe writes about the Patriots earning a trip to Super Bowl XLVI. "You saw a great football game," said defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. "You saw a classic of two football teams that didn't want to budge." After enduring three turnovers, two Tom Brady interceptions and a Danny Woodhead fumble, the Patriots received a gift when Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal. "It wasn't always perfect, but they fought to the final gun and we came out on top,'' said Patriots coach/football historian Bill Belichick.
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald writes about the Patriots' defensive ability to make a stop that allowed them to win the AFC Championship. "A lot of people doubted us. We went out in a mindset to prove ourselves to the world because we were the only defense of all the four (remaining) teams that wasn't talked about," said defensive lineman Kyle Love. "We were just trying to show everybody we can play, we can make big plays, we can stop offenses. That's our focus. We kinda felt like underdogs. You know how that goes for me. That's personal to me." The defense was led by one sack from Vince Wilfork, a Brandon Spikes interception and two late Sterling Moore pass break-ups.
John Czarnecki of FoxSports.com gives his early preview of the Super Bowl XLVI match-up between the New England Patriots and New York Giants, a rematch of Super Bowl XLII. In their last "super" meeting the Patriots did not have Rob Gronkowski or Aaron Hernandez. For the Giants, Jason Pierre-Paul and Michael Boley will be new defensive pieces to try to shut down the Patriots.
Michael Whitmer of the Boston Globe writes about Patriots quarterback Tom Brady getting his 16th career playoff win, matching his childhood idol Joe Montana. Although Brady did not play his best game, the win also puts Brady in a tie with John Elway, making his fifth Super Bowl appearance. "I wish I had done a better job. In some ways, you always beat yourself up,'' Brady said. "I've been doing this for quite a while. I'm glad we won, I'm glad we're moving on. Hopefully I can go out there and do better in a few weeks.''
Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald reports on Rob Gronkowski's injured ankle. According to a source Gronkowski will "be ready to go." Gronkowski was injured when his ankle was accidently twisted after a catch. Gronkowski was seen in a walking boot after the game.
Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com writes about recent comments from Brandon Spikes about overcoming adversity. "It's just great. As a man, you're measured when you get knocked down, how you respond after you get knocked down. On that pick -- actually the play before -- Leach had done a great job -- my respect to him, he knocked me on my butt. And the next play, I was able to make the play on the ball. It just felt great. You just gotta respond when you get knocked down on the ground." Spikes responded with his second career interception. "On the sideline, we kept saying that we've got to step up and make a play," said cornerback Devin McCourty. "Spikes is a very emotional, passionate guy, so whenever he makes a play, everyone goes crazy. That's just what he brings to the defense and what he brings to the team."
Jeff Howe of NESN.com writes about the Patriots-Giants rematch, not just from Super Bowl XLII but from Week nine of the 2011 season. The Week nine loss was the last loss for the Patriots. The Patriots were without linebackers Dane Fletcher and Brandon Spikes. The Giants were without wide receiver Hakeem Nicks or running back Ahmad Bradshaw.
Andrew Perloff of SI.com writes about the Patriots regaining the toughness that they were famous for in their Super Bowl runs. The defense was led by Vince Wilfork, Brandon Spikes, Jerod Mayo and Sterling Moore, men who have all faced adversity at some point this season. "You have to play through the play," linebacker Brandon Spikes said. "Throughout the week, the coaches put a big emphasis on playing through the whistle. ... That play Moore made says so much about this defense. We just don't give up."
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com looks at the Patriots special teams units in the AFC Championship game. Sergio Brown, Niko Koutouvides and Matthew Slater were the only people on all four units. Stephen Gostkowski helped the special teams coverage units by kicking five of his six kickoffs deep enough to force touchbacks. Punter Zoltan Mesko was only forced to punt twice.
Art Martone of CSNNE.com writes about the biggest player on the field in yesterday's AFC Championship win, in a figurative sense. Although Vince Wilfork might be one of the biggest players on the field from a size standpoint, nobody was bigger than Wilfork on Sunday. Wilfork had one sack and multiple tackles for a loss. "There's no doubt in my mind, this team will finish ball games," he said of the Patriots. "They will fight, no matter what the outcome may be. This team is [a bunch of] warriors. They're a bunch of fighters, coaches and everybody, this whole organization is just a special group of guys and I love playing for guys like this."