One day after the New England Patriots knew about their AFC Championship Game opponent, head coach Bill Belichick discussed his initial thoughts about the Jacksonville Jaguars, who defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 45-42, in their divisional clash on Sunday. During his Monday’s morning conference call, Belichick offered some views on the Jaguars, but clarified that he’s still very early in the scouting process.

Belichick said the Patriots have a lot of work to do as the Jaguars are a well-coached team and have a lot of good players. Belichick got a first-hand look at the Jaguars when they held a joint practice in August in Foxborough before their preseason opener.

However, Belichick clarified that the present situation is far more different than in the preseason. “I think right now what it's about is getting ready to play this game. That was a different point in time, different emphasis,” said Belichick.

Belichick was also impressed with the Jaguars’ two regular-season wins over their AFC rivals, the Steelers. The first came via a 30-9 victory in the regular season where Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw five interceptions. “They did a great job,” Belichick said of the Jaguars' win. According to Belichick, there are many things that they have to prepare for as the Jaguars can run and pass the ball and play good defense, especially on pass-rushing and stopping the run.

“They've really done a good job, so yeah, it's impressive,” added Belichick. In their only meeting this season, the Jaguars defeated the Patriots, 31-24, in the preseason.

McDaniels echoes Belichick’s sentiment

In a conference call, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels admitted to the media that the Jaguars' defense will be the best unit the Patriots have faced all season.

“They have really, really, really good players at all three levels of the defense. They're very well coached,” said McDaniels, adding that the Jaguars will be a big challenge for the Patriots in their quest to reach the Super Bowl anew. The Jaguars finished the regular season ranked second in overall defense and second in points allowed with an average of 16.75 points per outing.

The Jaguars are particularly good in defending against the pass as they limited opponents to an average of 169.9 passing yards per game.

Patricia talks about containing rushers

For defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, one of the ways to shut down the Jaguars’ offense is to limit the impact of rookie rusher Leonard Fournette, who ran for 109 yards and three touchdowns against the Steelers. "Fournette's a really, really good player that has just been very explosive for them and been able to kind of carry their offense. So big challenge for us there," said Patricia.