Tom Brady has fished his old underdog suit jacked from the back of his closet. And it still fits perfectly.
Sunday’s AFC Championship pits the Denver Broncos and their historic offense against a Patriots team that’s duct-taped together.
You can tell the Patriots are going to embrace that narrative.
“I know different times coach will make us aware of (outside opinions),” Brady said this morning on WEEI. “I know when we played Baltimore no one picked us to win and no one’s gonna pick us to win this week.
“We’ve had our backs against the wall for a while, really the whole season,” Brady continued. “We’ve lost players and teams have really counted us out. We’ve got a bunch of underdogs on our team and we’ll be underdogs again. We’ll see how that shakes out at the end of the week. But we’re as tough and physical as we’ve ever been and we’re gonna go out and play this game and that’s a great challenge for us to . . . go in there and try to beat ‘em.”
In every single playoff loss for the Patriots dating back to 2007, it could be alleged that the Patriots went down to teams that were more physically punishing than they are. But the team’s eventual embrace this season of a will-bending ground attack has made its on-field personality different from past years. It’s even different from what it was in Week 12 when the Broncos ran for almost 300 yards in the overtime loss at Foxboro.
Combining the underdog mentality with the notion that they are physically tougher than any team Brady’s been a part of, you get the idea that New England will be looking to make the AFC Championship a brawl rather than a ballet.