New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is aware of the Jacksonville Jaguars' athletic defensive unit and has already begun preparing his offense for a new challenge with a NFL Super Bowl berth on the line.
Defending champions the Patriots rolled past the Tennessee Titans last week, earning a spot in the AFC championship round, but their next opponent is a bit of a surprise.
Many believed New England would host the Pittsburgh Steelers this week, but Jacksonville pulled off a shocking upset. The Jaguars' young defense forced turnovers at key moments, as they have done all season.
"We're kind of working our way through it here. We're not where we're going to be on Wednesday," Belichick said Monday during a media conference call. "We have a lot of work to do. We haven't seen them in quite a while, but obviously, they're well coached.
"They have a lot of good players. We saw that from training camp. They've been in two close games and they've made a lot of critical plays in critical situations. They've made the plays they've had to make, and that's what you have to do at this time of year."
Despite the Jaguars' inexperience in the playoffs, Belichick marvelled at how organised and mature they looked against the Steelers.
"Very impressive," Belichick said of the Jaguars win. "They did a great job. They do a lot of things well, play good defense, can rush the passer, can stop the run, turn the ball over, can run the ball, have a lot of explosive players in the passing game, they're good in the kicking game, they're very aggressive in the kicking game. They're well coached.
"I know that, for sure. They've handled the situations that have come up in those games very well — fourth-and-one in the first quarter, things like that. They've really done a good job, so yeah, it's impressive."
Jacksonville utilises a blend of power and speed on their defense, something Belichick noticed. He singled out a few players who have caught his eye.
"They have some fast players. Some big players, too, like Marcell Dareus, Malik Jackson and guys like that," Belichick said. "I mean, they've got a lot of good football players. They bring a lot of problems. They bring speed, size, power, instincts, athleticism. [Jalen] Ramsey — I mean, he's a big corner now. They've got a lot of good football players that have a lot of skill."
The Patriots are trying to defend their Super Bowl title, but will first have to execute their way past a tricky Jaguars squad on Sunday, playing some of their best football on both sides of the ball.
|WATCH: Anthony Joshua serves up Stephen Curry assist|
|Rockets backed up fighting talk, says Harden|
|Curry not taking the blame for defeated Warriors|
|Brewers extend Diamondbacks´ losing streak to six|
|Rockets break Warriors´ 16-game home postseason win streak|
|Chargers tight end Henry suffers torn ACL|
|WATCH: Harden dunks all over Green|
|Giants sign wide receiver Shepard|
|Stevens says Tatum should´ve been unanimous All-Rookie First Team selection|
|Rodgers on Bryant: If he ends up here, we´ll welcome him|
|Jets´ Hackenberg dealt to Raiders for 2019 conditional pick|
|Mets sign Bautista, start him same day|
|Warriors´ Iguodala ruled out for game four|
|Warriors´ Iguodala upgraded to questionable for game four|
|Simmons, Mitchell unanimous picks for NBA All-Rookie first team|
|Ronaldo again pips LeBron and Messi as sport´s most famous star|
|A fast start to life - The Golden Knights and the expansion teams who excelled early|
|It doesn´t get better - Stevens relishing best-of-three shootout for Celtics|
|LeBron and Lue hail evergreen Kyle Korver|
|Yankees´ home runs fuel win over Rangers|
|LeBron scores 44 points as Cavs level series against Celtics|
|LeBron James sets record for postseason field goals|
|Nationals´ Juan Soto hits homer in second career at-bat|
|Eli Apple embarrassed by 2017 antics, ready to move forward|
|Bills release Richie Incognito from reserve/retired list|
|Gentry and Pelicans want Cousins back in New Orleans|
|MLB extends Blue Jays closer Osuna´s administrative leave|
|LeBron ´appreciative´ of hometown effort to put up statue of him|
|LeBron or Kawhi could lead Lakers to the Finals - World Peace|
|Harden, D´Antoni rue ´soft´ Rockets performance in Warriors drubbing|
|Wash your mouth out! - Curry´s expletive outburst earns scolding from mother|
|Ohtani says he´s not good enough for Home Run Derby yet|
|Braves rally for six runs in the ninth to defeat Marlins|
|Warriors breeze past Rockets in game three|
|Golden Knights GM on Stanley Cup Finals berth: I don´t know how we did it|
|I did a ´s*** job´ defending LeBron James – Morris|
|Cavs´ Lue not satisfied with just one win|
|Sweden win shoot-out to retain world title|
|I think I made a fantastic decision - Garoppolo key to Sherman joining 49ers|
|Green: Warriors play best when we feel threatened|
|Don´t try it at home! - LeBron wows with game three passing|
|Celtics ´needed to get our butts whooped´ by Cavs, says Rozier|
|NBA great Bill Russell released from hospital|
|Indians ace Kluber becomes first in AL to seven wins|
|Kuznetsov sets Capitals´ playoff points record|
|Cavaliers rout Celtics to cut series deficit to 2-1|
|Sweden batter USA, Swiss roll on to gold medal match|
|Quarterback Manziel heading to the CFL|
|World Peace: Durant not part of Warriors dynasty|
|Watt offers to pay for funerals of Santa Fe shooting victims|
|Jacob deGrom leads Mets to much-needed win|
|Suns open to trading number one pick|
|Cousins open to Pelicans return, but wants to play for a contender|
|Bucks´ Antetokounmpo met with Budenholzer before hiring, excited for new era|
|Cowboys in a standstill under Garrett, says Owens|
|Mets outfielder Lagares expected to miss rest of season with toe injury|
|Cardinals´ DeJong suffers fractured hand, to miss ´significant time´|
|Former All-Star Buchholz expected to start for Diamondbacks on Sunday|
|Red Sox first team to 30 wins as Price, Betts steal the show|
|Pirates send Marte to DL, promote Meadows|
|Angels reliever Middleton facing Tommy John surgery|
|Comedy of errors force Yankees to sleep at airport|
|Reds may already be looking to deal Harvey|
|Canada see off Russia as Sweden squeeze past plucky Latvia|
|Budenholzer appointed Bucks head coach|
|Smith says Cavs can´t make LeBron play ´hero ball´|
|WATCH: Rome bewildered by streetballer Bone Collector|
|Rockets-Warriors not a ´chess match´ for Harden|
|Verlander sets strikeout mark against Ohtani in shutout|
|Curry plays down fitness worries|