With the Indianapolis Colts beating the Houston Texans on Saturday, the winner of the Chargers-Ravens game was going to head to Foxborough.
While Patriots quarterback Tom Brady watched the game, as soon as the clock struck zero, he keyed in on his next opponent – the Bolts.
"After that game ended, I was up watching film all night," Brady mentioned on WEEI. "That's the way it is. This is the biggest week of the year for me, everything is focused on what we need to do. You can't watch enough film on weeks like this. You can't get enough rest. You can't get enough treatment, get enough training, or get enough practice. It's all about what we have to do to be at our best for the biggest three hours of the season when that ball kicks off."
The last time these teams met came in Week 8 of the 2017 season. It was a hard-fought game that came down to the final snap. However, New England came out on top, 21-13.
While Brady and company are 8-0 at home this season, not to mention 4-0 against teams that qualified for the postseason, Philip Rivers is relishing the chance to play the Patriots at their place.
"It's exciting to get another chance," Rivers said after Sunday's win over the Ravens. "I think it just goes to show, unless you're the Patriots, and I know there's some other teams that get in the postseason a lot, it's hard. They've been in the conference championship I think seven or eight in a row or whatever, but for most of us it's not that easy to get in. And when you get in and now you know you're one of eight teams, that's all you can ask for is a chance."
The Bolts are coming off a 23-17 win over the Ravens while the Patriots enter Sunday's game fresh off a bye. With the winner of this game heading to the AFC Championship, the stakes couldn't be higher.
With that in mind, both quarterbacks stressed each team must bring their a-game now more than ever.
"We know we're going to need to play better offensively, and hopefully (the defense) can keep it rolling and see what happens next Sunday," Rivers added. "It's a Bill Belichick-led team and defense, (and) we know they're in these games (all the time). Whether this be, who knows how many, Brady's 40th, 38th, something playoff game? So they're used to these kind of games, so it'll be a heck of a challenge."
"(Belichick) is constantly putting pressure on us to exceed his expectations, which is very challenging, because he has high expectations," Brady mentioned. "But it's all for weeks like this. Whether it's practice, walk-through, meetings, ultimately as it comes up to the game, this is when you need to be at your highest level of focus because it's unlike any other game we've played all year."