The Patriots made a lot of waves when it came to their underdog status coming into Sunday's AFC title tilt with the Chiefs. From Tom Brady's comment saying everyone thinks they "suck" immediately following the divisional playoff win over the Chargers to Julian Edelman selling $30 T-shirts encouraging people to bet against them, the Pats been quick to remind people Kansas City is favored heading into the game. (The Chiefs are still three-point favorites, at least as of Friday afternoon.)
On Friday morning, Brady was asked if there was a genuine feeling of "disrespect" in the locker room.
"I mean, we’re going against a team that’s the No. 1 seed in the league. I’m sure there’s a lot of people that are thinking they’re going to win," he said. "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. "
As for Edelman, he brushed off questions about feeling disrespected.
"I'm just worried about Kansas City," he said. "Honestly, I don't know. I don't look into stuff like that. We're just worried about Kansas City and doing everything I can to prepare myself mentally, physically and emotionally to go out and play my best game. I don't know, I'm sorry."
As expected, the Patriots are as healthy as you can be heading into Sunday's game. Of course, there are plenty of players still suffering from bumps and bruises, but as our own Doc Flynn noted here, it's an extraordinary run of good fortune for New England at this time of the season.
With the idea that it's never to early to play "guess the inactives," when it comes to the first six, we'll go with Keionta Davis, Derek Rivers, James Ferentz, Duke Dawson, Stephen Anderson and Obi Mellifonwu. Give us your take in the comments.
Interesting comments from Bill Belichick on Friday morning -- asked if he still gets nervous or anxious before games, he was quick with a reply.
"Nervous, yeah. Sure," he said. "You want to go out there and do well. There’s an anxiety. We all have things in the game that we have to do. You want to perform them well, not let your team down because everybody’s counting on you to do your job. You’re counting on everybody else to do theirs. You don’t worry about everybody else. You just worry about doing what you can do and make sure you don’t screw up what you’re supposed to do, what you’re responsible for, because nobody else can do that. That’s your job, and we all have jobs to do. We all want to do them well."