Julian Edelman and his beard met the media after practice on Thursday. (WEEI.com photo)
FOXBORO — On Thursday, Julian Edelman said the Texans “will be the best team [the Patriots] played all year,” and added that the challenge of playoff football should be enough to get you blood “boiling,” regardless of the opponent.
“Any time you play a team that’s won a playoff game already, it’s most certainly going to be the best team you’ve played thus far,” Edelman said after Thursday’s practice. “It’s going to be a big battle.”
As many of his teammates have done over the course of the week, Edelmam lauded the Houston defense, which was in the top 10 in most major categories over the course of the regular season — despite the fact that it had its collective doors blown off by the Patriots in a 27-0 shellacking in Foxboro in Week Three.
“You’ve got to prepare like you’re playing a new team, which we pretty much are. When a team is going through September, it’s usually a team trying to find its identity. Around the league, everyone is trying to find where they’re at,” said Edelman, who had four catches for 38 yards in that win.
“They’re definitely a challenging defense,” he added. “It’s one of those things where we have another day to prepare, which we’re going to do, and take advantage of that day to go out and play our best football on [Saturday].”
Edelman took a pass when asked about the possibility of him tying Wes Welker for most career postseason receptions in franchise history. (He has 68, and Welker had 69 in his playoff career with the Patriots.) But he acknowledged that when it comes to football, the postseason is a totally different animal.
“If your blood doesn’t get boiling for something like this, you’re in the wrong profession,” Edelman said of the anticipation that comes with the postseason opener. “You’re definitely excited, but at least I try to keep calm, stay focused and let my energy save up for [Saturday]. I’m definitely excited, but I’m definitely focused on having another day to go over, tighten everything up and get ready to go in and play a very good football team.
“Once you get out there it’s definitely a different speed, guys are playing hard, there’s nothing to lose,” he said. “No game is guaranteed. It’s full-throttle, so that’s kind of what you expect going into these kinds of games.”
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