With Saturday’s win over the Chiefs, the Patriots advanced to the AFC championship game for the fifth straight year and the 10th time overall since quarterback Tom Brady joined the team.
Those 10 appearances are an NFL record and more than 27 teams have made in the history of their franchises, which is a run of success that could make Sunday’s trip to Denver seem like just part of the job. Brady says that while it might be “natural” to have a little less appreciation for making it so far so often, it hasn’t worn off on him.
“It’s beyond what I’d ever imagined in my wildest dreams,” Brady said on “Dennis & Callahan” on WEEI. “I remember the first one I ever participated in, which was in Pittsburgh. We had to fly there on a Friday. I missed Friday of practice so I could do a press conference at the site of the game. It was the first time it really felt like, wow, this is a big deal. Fifteen years later, to be a part of 10 of those, I never imagined that any of this was ever even possible. I just knew that I loved the game, and I played with so many great teammates who have, like I said, sacrificed so much. When you play with teammates like I have and you see what they go through over the course of the season, what they deal with in their lives personally, how that reacts to them professionally, kind of the blood, sweat and tears you put into it, you never take it for granted.”
Brady would likely say the same about making a seventh trip to the Super Bowl, something he says will take “max effort” against the Broncos in a city where he’s won twice in eight tries.