sunny.png
Tuesday May 21st, 2019 9:29AM

Underdog Patriots face top seed KC. Yes, you read that right

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — It may have been hard to hear him over the noise of the New England fans celebrating an eighth straight trip to the AFC title game, but Tom Brady is feeling disrespected.

That's right: The three-time NFL MVP and five-time Super Bowl champion told a national TV audience after demolishing the Los Angeles Chargers in the playoffs, "I know everyone thinks we suck and can't win any games.

"We'll see," Brady said with a roguish look in his eyes. "Could be fun."

There hasn't been an NFL run like the Patriots' — at least in the Super Bowl era — with Brady and coach Bill Belichick leading the franchise to 10 straight AFC East titles and 15 in 16 years, resulting in eight trips to the Super Bowl and five NFL crowns.

"You're talking about a dynasty," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "If there is such a thing in the National Football League, they've been that."

And yet as they prepare to travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs (13-4) in Sunday's AFC championship game, Brady is right about one thing: The Patriots (12-5) are a 3-point underdog, and that's an unusual position for them.

"We're going against a team that's the No. 1 seed in the league," Brady said after the team's final practice on Friday. "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."

Players have long found their motivation wherever they can, whether it's the oddsmakers or experts or comments from the opposing team that go up on the locker room for all to see. Heading into the NFC title game, some banter about gumbo has turned into a rallying cry for the Los Angeles Rams.

The Chiefs have been careful not to help out with any bulletin board material.

"I don't think they suck," tight end Travis Kelce said. "I can tell you that."

But rustling up slights to motivate themselves is just another thing they've mastered.

Responding to the public perception — or at least that of the oddsmakers — receiver Julian Edelman tweeted a Chiefs hype video lauding quarterback Patrick Mahomes as the best player in the league. Edelman made no secret what he thought of that, adding a hashtag: "#BetAgainstUs"; he is also selling T-shirts with the slogan squeezed into the shape of the Patriots logo.

Special teams star Matthew Slater said he wasn't motivated as much by being an underdog in this game as other times he was doubted in his life.

"I'm not supposed to be playing in this league anyways," he said, "so we've got plenty of motivation."

Defensive back Jason McCourty was a sixth-round draft pick — just like Brady.

And, just like Brady, and he hasn't forgotten.

"You've just always had that chip on your shoulder, and no matter what you go through in life, especially with football, there's just always someone or something," McCourty said.

"I think that type of mindset, no matter if you're 16-0, you're rolling through the playoffs, no matter what the situation is, there's always going to be somebody that's doubting you or saying something about you. I think for certain guys individually, it may be something that kind of gives you that extra kick."

___

AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Missouri, contributed to this report.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Underdog Patriots face top seed KC. Yes, you read that right
Tom Brady is playing up the underdog role this week as the New England Patriots prepare to play the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game
6:48PM ( 7 minutes ago )
The shutdown today: Standoff hits White House caretakers
The shutdown today: Standoff hits staff tending to the White House residence
6:44PM ( 11 minutes ago )
White cop who shot black teen gets nearly 7 years in prison
White Chicago officer who shot black teen gets nearly 7 years in prison
6:36PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Linehan out as Cowboys offensive coordinator after 5 seasons
Linehan is out as Cowboys offensive coordinator after 5 seasons; comes days after Garrett sent mixed messages about assistant's future
5:22PM ( 1 hour ago )
Saints-Rams NFC title game a clash of like-minded coaches
The NFC championship game between the Saints and Rams features coaches with more in common than their first names
4:40PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP source: Angels, Allen agree to $8.5M, 1-year contract
AP source: Los Angeles Angels, reliever Cody Allen agree to $8.5 million, 1-year contract
4:32PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Record 135 forgo college eligibility to enter NFL draft
A record number of college football players at 135 are bypassing remaining years of eligibility to enter the NFL draft
1:54PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Top 25 Podcast: Kyler's choice, Alabama's staff turnover
Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray is considering a football career instead of baseball, but what kind of an NFL prospect is the undersized quarterback
9:43AM ( 9 hours ago )
Rams thin on playoff experience, hungry for Super Bowl run
Ndamukong Suh joined the Los Angeles Rams because he thought they would give him a chance to get his first playoff victory
8:38PM ( 22 hours ago )
AP Online Football
Razor burn: Gillette ad stirs online uproar
Gillette ad encouraging men to 'say the right thing' and 'act the right way' draws online ire
9:22PM ( 2 days ago )
Football rules ratings, but 'Big Bang Theory' energized
'The Big Bang Theory' is picking up ratings steam in the final stretch of its 12-year run
6:55PM ( 3 days ago )
Patriots' Edelman still making most of his opportunities
Vintage performances by Julian Edelman coming right on time for Patriots
6:36PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - NFL
The shutdown today: Standoff hits White House caretakers
The shutdown today: Standoff hits staff tending to the White House residence
6:44PM ( 11 minutes ago )
White cop who shot black teen gets nearly 7 years in prison
White Chicago officer who shot black teen gets nearly 7 years in prison
6:36PM ( 19 minutes ago )
The Latest: Van Dyke gets nearly 7 years in prison
A judge has sentenced former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke to nearly seven years in prison in the 2014 shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald
6:34PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Kobach's defeat puts future of voter database in doubt
Future of a contentious multi-state voter registration database is uncertain now that former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach no longer holds that office
6:25PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Reports: Sony drops R. Kelly after furor over allegations
Multiple outlets have reported that Sony Music has dropped embattled R&B star R. Kelly from its roster
6:25PM ( 31 minutes ago )