FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady watched the Los Angeles Chargers beat the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday afternoon, and then didn’t waste any time getting to work preparing for a divisional-round game against L.A.
“After that game ended, I was up watching film all night,” Brady said in his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI. “That’s the way it is. This is the biggest week of the year for me; everything is focused on what we need to do. You can’t watch enough film on weeks like this. You can’t get enough rest. You can’t get enough treatment, get enough training or get enough practice. It’s all about what we have to do to be at our best for the biggest three hours of the season when that ball kicks off.”
Sunday’s game will be Brady’s 38th in the postseason, extending his NFL record.
The 41-year-old Brady was asked in the radio interview if he’s grown accustomed to such pressure.
“I feel like I’m just really focused and I feel like I really can hone in on what I need to do,” he said. “Maybe that’s part of why I’m still playing at this point and part of why I’ve been able to do that. It just comes very naturally to me, without me having to think.
“Certainly there are things that don’t come naturally to me that I’ve had to work hard at. This is something that I really don’t have to think about much. It just naturally happens. The focus and the emotion really sharpens, tightens up. And I get to a place mentally where I need to be.”
Brady added that the daily pressure of playing under coach Bill Belichick helps harden the entire team for this time of year.
“I think when you play for the Patriots, there’s pressure on you from the day you walk into the door,” he said. “Coach is constantly putting pressure on us to exceed his expectations, which is very challenging, because he has high expectations. But it’s all for weeks like this. Whether it’s practice, walk-through, meetings, ultimately as it comes up to the game, this is when you need to be at your highest level of focus because it’s unlike any other game we’ve played all year. ...
“You just realize it’s all on the line. You have 65 plays left. You have two or three bad ones and that’s the season. You never want it to come down to that. You never really want you to be the reason why things don’t go well. So there’s an intense pressure. I already feel it.”
Players are scheduled to be at the facility on Monday afternoon for meetings, with their first practice of the week set for Wednesday.
That gives them five days since their last practice, with Brady saying the physical rest helps and that this is currently the time for more mental work.