Very few people, whether it was fans, media members, oddsmakers, etc., gave the New England Patriots much of a chance to win Super Bowl LIII when the NFL playoffs started a few weeks ago.
The Patriots might have turned some doubters into believers after Sunday's impressive 41-28 win in the AFC Divisional Round over the Los Angeles Chargers at Gillette Stadium, but many critics remain. And judging by the reaction after the game, including quarterback Tom Brady's candid interview with CBS and the team hitting back at ESPN show "First Take" on Twitter, this Patriots team certainly has a nobody-believes-in-us attitude.
Patriots safety Devin McCourty explained this mentality during a recent interview on SiriusXM Radio.
Devin McCourty on @SiriusXMNFL: “When people think of Patriots, they always think of 3 teams that won in early 2000s, or (last) 2 Super Bowl teams. But each team is different. You develop your character...This season has been a little chip on shoulder for each guy in locker room”— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) January 15, 2019
The Patriots' next chance to silence their doubters is Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium. New England currently is 3-point underdogs, making this AFC title game the first where Tom Brady is an underdog in the playoffs since 2013. Since it doesn't happen often, it's easy to see why the Patriots are embracing the underdog role.
If the Patriots beat the Chiefs and reach the Super Bowl, it should be pretty tough for anyone, even the people most critical of the Pats, to pick the NFC champion to win the Lombardi Trophy.
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