USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady on Tuesday morning sang the praises of the Jacksonville Jaguars ahead of Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, calling the New England Patriots’ upcoming opponent “certainly the best team we’ve faced all season.”

The Patriots not surprisingly are considered heavy favorites in Sunday’s showdown after the Jaguars pulled off an epic upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional round, winning a 45-42 shootout Sunday at Heinz Field.

Given the Jags boast the AFC’s top defense and put up points on the Steelers, Brady knows Jacksonville is not a team to take lightly.

“This is the biggest challenge we’ve faced all year,” Brady said on WEEI, as transcribed by the Boston Herald. “We’ve had a good offense, they’ve had the best defense, and that’s always a challenge when you go up against those guys, and when you watch them play over the course of a whole season, you can see why.

“…  I’d say certainly the best team we’ve faced all season, and if we don’t play our best, then we’re not gonna advance.”

It’s not in the Patriot Way to undersell an opponent, so it’s hardly surprising Brady spoke glowingly of the Jaguars. It’s in stark contrast  to how Jags cornerback Jalen Ramsey provided bulletin board material for the Pats when after beating the Steelers he all but guaranteed the team was not only going to upend the Patriots, they were going to win the Super Bowl.

“I think what I’ve learned over a long time is it’s how you play and it’s not what you say,” Brady said. “I think everyone has different ways of handling things. Coaches do, players do, we do what works for us. …

“The game’s going to be decided by who plays the best, not who hypes the best or speaks the best. (Ramsey)’s a really good player, I’ve watched a ton of film on him. Got a lot of strengths and he’s obviously very confident. That’s reflected in how he plays, so I’m more concerned with how he plays as opposed to what he said. I’ve never bought into any of those things.”

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This article first appeared on Sportress of Blogitude and was syndicated with permission.

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