Brady: Momentum doesn't carry over in NFL

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Brady: Momentum doesn't carry over in NFL

FOXBORO -- The New York Giants lost five of their final eight regular-season games in 2011. And they won the Super Bowl.

The Packers went 3-3 in their final six regular-season games in 2010. And they won the Super Bowl.

The Saints lost their final three regular-season games in 2009. And they won the Super Bowl.

The Cardinals went 2-4 in their final six regular-season games in 2008. And lost the Super Bowl on a miraculous last-minute drive by the Steelers.

The Giants lost two of their last three regular-season games in 2007. And they won the Super Bowl.

The Colts lost three of their final five regular-season games in 2006. They allowed 219, 275, 133, 191 and 150 yards on the ground in those games. And they won the Super Bowl.

Momentum? History says it starts when the regular-season ends and not before.

"I think you want to be playing well so you have confidence going into the playoffs, theres no question about that, but like I said, whatever we do this weekend isnt going to have any bearing on what happens in the playoff game the following week," said Tom Brady. "Whats going to have a bearing on the playoff game is how we prepare for that week and the opponent and our scheme and our execution. Were trying to build some confidence this week in what were doing, go out and have good practices, and go out and see if we can execute better than we have been."

This week's opponent is the Miami Dolphins. By the time they kick off at 4:25 pm, the Patriots should know their chances of earning a first-round bye. A Texans loss to the Colts earlier in the afternoon would open the door for New England to get a bye with a win. If the Texans win, the Patriots would need an improbable win by the Chiefs over Denver later in the evening to have the same shot.

Brady said the team will be up-to-date on what the scenarios are.

"I'm sure well all be aware of that, yeah. No question," he said. "But I dont think that changes what our goal is for the weekend. I think were trying to win this game regardless. It could be different if some other teams win, but thats really out of our control. Were just going to go out and try to win."

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Caserio: Brady's age has nothing to do with draft approach

Caserio: Brady's age has nothing to do with draft approach

FOXBORO -- The Patriots took four players in this year's draft. Four. That's the smallest draft class in team history

Instead, as Bill Belichick highlighted on Friday night, they spent multiple picks in this year's draft to pick up proven commodities. 

* Their first and third-rounders were sent to New Orleans in exchange for receiver Brandin Cooks and a fourth. 

* Their second-rounder ended up in Carolina, bringing defensive end Kony Ealy and a third to New England. 

* They lost a fourth-rounder to Deflategate and sent another away in order to pry tight end Dwayne Allen and a sixth-rounder from the Colts. 

* They sent a fifth-rounder to Buffalo as compensation for signing restricted free agent running back Mike Gillislee. 

* Before last season the Patriots sent a fifth to Cleveland for linebacker Barkevious Mingo. 

* Before last season's trade deadline they sent a sixth-round pick to Detroit for Kyle Van Noy and a seventh-rounder. 

"Obviously, we’ve been watching a lot of picks go by," Belichick said on Friday, "but I feel like overall our opportunity in this draft started a couple of months ago. The four players that we acquired already are also part of the draft process. Hopefully we’ve been able to improve our team, become more competitive. That’s the ultimate goal."

Even on the last day of the draft, the Patriots didn't stop trading picks for veterans when they sent No. 183 overall to Kansas City in exchange for tight end James O'Shaughnessy

But when Nick Caserio was asked on Saturday if his team's approach to the draft -- taking more established players instead of gambling on draft picks -- had anything to do with Tom Brady's age, he shot down that theory.

“That has zero to do with it,” Caserio said. “I would say really the team-building process is very fluid. How it is going to go? There’s no template. There is no book with how it is going to go. 

"There’s a lot of really good players that were in this draft that have been drafted and will help their respective teams. We understand that and understand we felt the same way. There were enough players up there that we felt good about. We take the resources that we have and we try and make the best decision for our team."

In reality, the approach of taking such a small number of draftees is probably more a reflection of the current roster than the quarterback's age. It's loaded, and it seems like there will be relatively few opportunities for rookies to make the Week 1 roster.