BOSTON (CBS) – If there was one big change the Patriots made this year, it was the acquisition of Aqib Talib in the middle of the season.
Picking up the veteran corner allowed them to move Devin McCourty to safety and made them stronger as a whole in the secondary. This was evident the last time the Patriots and Texans met up, with Talib covering All Pro receiver Andre Johnson and letting the rest of the secondary help in the run game. That went a long way to containing Foster, and with Talib doing his job the Pats have been a much better team defensively.
But now, the former Buccaneer is getting ready to play in his first playoff game. Of course he is excited to get a taste of the postseason, and this was one of the things he about when the Patriots traded for him at the deadline.
“One of the first things I thought about when I was traded here was that I was definitely going to have a chance to play in these playoffs,” Talib said. “I’m very excited. Very excited. I watched them every year, every game. It’s the best football you’re going to watch. It’s good to be a part of it.”
So now even though, you may consider Talib a veteran, he’s looking for advice for what this experience is going to be like. The games are different ion the playoffs. Luckily for him, many of his teammates have made a habit of playing in the postseason.
“I expect the intensity to turn up,” he said. “It’s definitely turned up in practice and in the meetings. If it’s turned up there, I definitely expect it to get turned up in the games. It’s still going to be football, but I expect the coaches to coach a little more aggressive and to play a little more aggressive.”
Talib had three tackles and a pass deflection against the Texans in Week 14, and will be called upon again to stop Johnson — who put up big numbers with eight catches for 95 yards in the first meeting, but was kept out of the end zone and from making too many big plays.
It will be up to Talib, in his playoff debut, to do the same again come Sunday.
Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Texans playoff game on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV. Kickoff is at 4:30pm, with pregame coverage beginning at 1pm on 98.5 with Patriots Preview, and 11:30am on WBZ-TV with a special hour-long edition of Patriots Gameday. Following the game, tune in to three hours of postgame coverage on the Hub, and Patriots 5th Quarter on myTV38!