BOSTON (CBS) — Darrelle Revis is heading back to the AFC Championship for the third time in his career.

It’s been four years since Revis, then a member of the New York Jets, played in a conference title game, so he knows not to take Sunday’s tilt against the Indianapolis Colts for granted. It’s been a long journey for the New England defense this year, shaking off some early-season struggles, and Revis says the Patriots’ run to a fourth straight AFC Championship game is the product of one thing.

“Just hard work,” Revis said Thursday. “It’s just work ethic across the board, everybody working hard. It takes a team effort and that’s what we’ve been doing here, playing team ball.”

It was a full team effort back in Week 11 when the Patriots beat the Colts 42-20 in Indianapolis. Revis found himself mostly covering veteran receiver Reggie Wayne, who was held to five receptions on nine targets for 91 yards.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, perhaps the fiercest of competitors on the team, commented Thursday about how Revis hates to give up completions. It doesn’t matter if it comes in practice or in a game, Revis does not like to see the man he is covering come down with the football.

But Revis said he is not alone in feeling that way.

“It’s just being competitive. In this league, as a defensive back, that’s what needs to drive you,” he said, adding that it helps to compete against Brady every day in practice. “I think our whole secondary feels the same way; we don’t want any balls caught. At the same time this is a tough league and you have to give credit when it’s due to your opponents.”

Revis will be trying to knock away passes from Andrew Luck come Sunday, a task he said was not very easy. Luck has only gotten better in his brief NFL career, and Revis made sure to give the Colts quarterback, in his first AFC Championship game just three years into the league, heaps of credit on Thursday.

“He’s very talented and a rising young star. He’s very unbelievable at what he does. The passes he throws, the way he runs their offense, it kind of looks like Peyton Manning all over again. He’s great and you have to give him his credit. He’s worked hard and has brought them this far. This is the matchup we’ve got, and we’re looking forward to it.”

Revis was also quick to point out that New England’s win over the Colts two months ago won’t mean much come Sunday.

“At this point of the season, it is what it is,” he said. “It really doesn’t matter, the past is the past. This is for all the marbles here, to advance to the Super Bowl. At this point it really doesn’t matter. It’s a new game, a new week.”

Tune in to Sunday’s AFC Championship game on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV — the flagship stations of the New England Patriots.

98.5 The Sports Hub begins their coverage Sunday afternoon at 3:30pm, with three full hours of postgame reaction and analysis following the game.

WBZ-TV kicks off coverage Friday night with a special edition of Patriots GameDay at 7pm, a LIVE edition of Patriots All Access Saturday night at 7pm, and a 90-minute Patriots GameDay on Sunday morning at 11:30am. After the game, switch over to myTV38 for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s press conferences on Patriots 5th Quarter.

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