Tom Brady's return to New England to play against the Patriots for the first time since he left to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency last year is one of the most-anticipated regular season games in Boston sports history.
Sunday night's Week 4 matchup will be full of emotions for everyone involved.
You can bet Brady will get plenty of cheers from Patriots fans in attendance at Gillette Stadium. After all, he helped turn the Patriots into a six-time Super Bowl champion during his 20 years with the franchise.
But even Brady understands that once the game is underway, the home fans will be rooting for a Patriots win.
"I wouldn't expect a homecoming. I think they're there to root for their team, and their team is the Patriots," Brady said on the latest episode of the "Let's Go!" podcast on SiriusXM, while also adding he'll have plenty of family and friends in attendance.
"The home crowd at Gillette is a great crowd, and I think they're gonna cheer for their team as I would expect them to, and I think if they know anything about me, they're gonna know that I'm going out there to try to win the football game, so I think they'll respect that about me.
"I certainly respect that they're there to pull for their team. That's the way sports goes. After the game comes and goes, things will happen as they will. I'm not sure how things unfold other than how I want them to unfold, which is for us to play a great game of football and try to get a really tough win in a really great football environment. One thing I learned from the Patriots -- [Bill] Belichick would say, 'Listen, if you love football, then 8:30 on Sunday night at Gillette Stadium is the place to be.'"
There will be plenty of love for Brady on Sunday night, but the Patriots are also desperate for a win after a tough loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 3. Fans understand that, and the last thing many of them want to see is Brady dropping the Patriots to 1-3 with another incredible performance.