GOAT lament: "Everyone thinks we suck and can't win any games"

No, this didn’t come from the GOP — about whom it might actually apply — but from the GOAT, the Greatest of All Time. When it comes to acting, Tom Brady is clearly a devotee of the Stanislavsky Method. The quarterback who keeps building a case as GOAT immediately embraced the role of unappreciated and overlooked overperformer in his upcoming, um, eighth straight AFC championship game next weekend after demolishing the Los Angeles Chargers:


His teammates signed up for auditions as well:

“Tom said it, so I can comment on it. Yeah, everybody does think we suck. Everybody thinks we don’t have enough,” wide receiver Phillip Dorsett said. “But the only thing that matters is what we think in this room and we believe. When you have a whole group of guys that believes, it can be a special thing. So we have to keep playing, keep going hard.”

Fellow receiver Julian Edelman added: “We’re the underdog this week. I’m going to jump on that train and roll with it. That’s my life.”

The Patriots visit the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday (6:40 p.m. ET). It will be Brady’s 13th appearance in the conference championship game.

“We see it. We see our quarterback’s too old, we’re not good enough on defense, the skill players aren’t good, but it doesn’t affect how we prepare,” said ninth-year safety Devin McCourty, one of the team’s captains.

The Pats strength-training team should pat themselves on the back. It must be very, very difficult for members of a team that has won five Super Bowls under Brady and Bill Belichik to haul that chip onto their collective shoulders. Whatever it takes to get motivated, I suppose, even though literally no one thinks they can’t win games. (Whether they “suck” or not is generally not related to the Pats’ talent level or winning percentage among fans of their opponents.) Even when they started the season at 1-2, no one was writing them off. And for good reason, as we saw yesterday.

That doesn’t mean they won’t be underdogs next Sunday. The Pats only went 3-5 on the road this season, and their road playoff record isn’t much different. Kansas City almost beat them in Foxboro this season where New England ended up with a perfect record. It’d be hard to find any sane person who thinks they don’t have a chance to win in Arrowhead Stadium, especially with all of the playoff acumen Brady and Belichik have between them, but the Chiefs might feel a little overlooked by prognosticators too. Both teams might come into the game griping that they’re underappreciated.

Still, for someone who’s accomplished as much as Brady, this feels a bit self-indulgent. No team has dominated the league like the Patriots under his leadership in the league’s history, especially in the expansion era. You don’t have to like the Pats to know that, and you don’t have to root for them to expect that they’ll find a way to win. Or that the refs will. I kid, I kid …