The Patriots have crafted a narrative that the perennial AFC power has faced doubt and disrespect during the 2018 postseason.
“You know, everyone thinks we suck,” Brady said after the Pats thrashed the Chargers. “You know, can’t win any games. So we’ll see. It’ll be fun.”
During a Friday media availability, a reporter called Brady on his contention that no one believes in the Patriots, asking whether there’s a “genuine feeling of disrespect” within the locker room.
“I mean, we’re going against a team that’s the No. 1 seed in the league,” Brady replied. “I’m sure there’s a lot of people that are thinking they’re going to win. Everyone can have their own opinion. We certainly have an opinion, and we’ve got to go out there and execute our best in order to accomplish that.
“So, it’s going to be a tough game. I mean, we’re not certainly expecting to go 15 minutes into the game and think that it’s over. It’s going to go down to the end. They’ve got a great team. Like I said, we feel like we have a team that can compete well against anybody. We’re going to need to play really well, and that’s what makes for a championship game. Hopefully, we can have our best one of the year.”
Brady’s remarks come at a time when the New England and Kansas City fan bases are arguing incessantly over which team is actually the underdog. The betting line favors the Chiefs by three, which means (given that home-field advantage has a three-point value) that the game would be viewed as a toss-up at a neutral site.
Still, New England rarely finds itself getting points. Coupled with the sense that emerged in December that the window has finally slammed shut on the only post-salary cap dynasty, it’s easy for the Patriots to persuade themselves that the world views them differently than it recently did.
And if that helps get the coaches and players better motivated to do everything they need to do to win on Sunday, so be it.